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 Reza » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:43 am

Kursk (Thomas Vinterberg, 2018) 6/10

The Kursk was a Russian submarine that on a routine Naval exercise sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000 after an explosion on board killed all 118 crew members. This formulaic but heartbreaking disaster recreation focuses on the 23 crew who survived in a compartment away from the main area of devastation where a faulty torpedo exploded causing a massive fire which set off a further chain of explosions which sank the huge submarine. Scenes of the survivors, led by one officer (Matthias Schoenaerts), are interpolated by the frantic efforts of his pregnant wife (Léa Seydoux) and other spouses to get some information along with the British Navy (led by Colin Firth) trying unsucessfully to offer assistance. The Russians refused help trying to save face and the bureaucratic nightmare, courtesy of the old guard (Max von Sydow prominent), and the delays caused the survivors to die after a tragic error by an inexperienced officer on board. By-the-numbers film does not have enough suspense to carry the film although there is one sequence of two sailors swimming underwater trying to reach life saving cartridges that is tense. And there is an emotional moment as one of the sailor's mother (Pernilla August) lashes out in fury at the Naval officers for lying to the families and concealing the truth. Anthony Dodd Mantle's superb widescreen cinematography is a major plus but it's all pretty static as drama.

Wildlife (Paul Dano, 2018) 7/10

Remarkably assured directorial debut by actor Paul Dano as he adapts Richard Ford's book into a film with stunning images of small town America shot by Diego García in the vast and bleak outfields of Montana and Oklahoma. Set in 1960 the story charts the breakup of a marriage as seen through the eyes of an impressionable 14-year old (Ed Oxenbold). His frustrated father (Jake Gyllenhaal) can't hold a job and disappears to fight wildfires while his complicated and disappointed mother (Carey Mulligan) represses her rage and decides to forget and make a go on her own which includes a fling with an older man (Bill Camp). Emotionally distant story has an intense frosty feel in its depiction of the corrosion of the idyllic nuclear family of the 1950s. Superbly acted film has a lovely score.

Stan & Ollie (Jon S. Baird, 2018) 7/10

Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), at the twilight of their once great career, find themselves on a theatrical tour of Britain during the 1950s. Tatty almost empty theatres are their bane as they go through their tired routines that once brought them their fame. The film celebrates the two geniuses via the marvelous performances of both Coogan and Reilly who perfectly capture their comraderie yet also delves into suppressed animosity and grudges that crop up after years of being together. Wives may come and go but the duo remain side by side as age takes over and health issues take center stage. A charming homage to brilliant and iconic comedians.

The Fundamentals of Caring (Rob Burnett, 2016) 5/10

The actors here are all better than the material. A road movie that resolves everyone's miserable life and brings on a semblance of cathartic redemption. A man (Paul Rudd), nursing a tragedy in his past, takes a job as a caregiver. The obnoxious patient (Craig Roberts) with daddy issues - among a list of them - also has a fatal disease and is wheelchair bound. The journey is full of incidents that seem to have crawled out of 50 similar movies from the past. They pick up a runaway hitchiker (Selena Gomez) for whom the patient has the hots and a pregnant woman who decides to give birth at a most inopportune time. And also surprise the boy's father who took off when he was three and proves to be the asshole everyone suspected. They all disband and return back to their lives having learnt the meaning of friendship and caring. Corny manipulative mush has occasional sharp dialogue and an endearing Rudd who manages to carry the film through sheer boyish charm.

Collateral (S.J. Clarkson, 2018) 7/10

The murder of a Syrian pizza deliveryman starts off a chain of circumstances involving various people across a cross section of British society. A pregnant detective (Carey Mulligan) calmly but relentlessly pursues clues leading to the murdered man's two sisters who are living illegally in the country, an MP and his doped up ex-wife who was the last person to see the deliveryman, a lesbian cleric in love with an Asian who witnessed the crime, a disgruntled female army captain, the suspicious manager of the pizza joint, a sarcastic MI5 agent and another deliveryman who is being pursued by thugs. David Hare, who wrote the screenplay for this four-part miniseries, gradually reveals the involvement of this diverse group of people in post-Brexit U.K. covering a broad spectrum of politics of which the subject of immigration runs deep. Mulligan is a lovely presence as she assuredly
manoeuvres her way through the labyrinth of suspects and is the heart and soul of this superbly shot film.

The Mule (Clint Eastwood, 2018) 7/10

Eastwood is a mesmerizing presence as a selfish man who has spent his entire life living for himself and his interests - he is an avid horticulturist and spent his time on the road - alienating his wife (Dianne Wiest) and daughter (Alison Eastwood). The septuagenarian unexpectedly finds a chance at redemption when he unknowingly becomes a mule for a mexican drug cartel headed by an elegant hood (Andy Garcia). He uses his beat up truck to transport cocaine for them. Staying one step ahead of the FBI (Lawrence Fishburne & Bradley Cooper) he becomes a Robin Hood figure helping friends and family with the money he earns. Unbelievable story is based on a New York Times article about a true incident with a lot of the man's motivations not making sense. Eastwood easily carries the film with his immense charm and twinkle in his eye.

Law Abiding Citizen (F. Gary Gray, 2009) 4/10

Man (Gerard Butler) witnesses the murder of his wife and daughter and goes on a killing spree after the DA (Jamie Foxx) agrees to a plea bargain which does not bring proper justice. The standard vigilante plotline goes for a different slant as the avenger kills off his victims while in solitary confinement in prison. Gruesome violence is the order of the day as people are hacked, decapitated, limbs torn apart, shot and blown up as revenge takes on the wrath of biblical proportions in an attempt to destroy the whole corrupt system. Absurd thriller.

Under Ten Flags / Sotto dieci bandiere (Duilio Coletti, 1960) 6/10

Rare Italian production - courtesy of Dino De Laurentiis - with an international cast and based on true events in 1940-41 during WWII. A Nazi raider ship under the guise of a freighter bearing different flags destroys passenger and British Naval ships in the Atlantic. The British admiral (Charles Laughton) and his forces try their best to find this "ghost" ship while the humane German captain (Van Heflin) plays a game of cat and mouse with them destroying every ship that comes their way. Matters take a turn when a passenger ship shoots at them and is destroyed in return. The humane captain takes on board all survivors - allowing a host of stars (Mylène Demongeot, Gian Maria Volonté, Eleonora Rossi Drago) to appear in cameos. Laughton, as the frustrated but wily admiral, is superb and plays him with a Churchillian flavour while Heflin, abhoring Hitler and the Nazi party's views, shows his german character to be human. Interesting film from the historic perspective.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:26 pm

Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)
3/10
The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931) 6/10
Times Square Lady (George B. Seitz, 1935) 2/10
The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (Susan Warms Dryfoos, 1996) 7/10


Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967) 10/10

Catherine Deneuve is perfectly cast in Buñuel's wicked sexual fantasy which weaves a magical spell bringing the director's penchant for erotic fetishism out in the open. Deneuve's ice cool-blonde and refined exterior hides a frigid interior. The film came out over 50 years ago but has not dated even a bit. A lot of it has to do with the classic Yves Saint Laurent outfits and shoes Deneuve wears giving the film a remarkable contemporary feel. The sex scenes, once thought shocking, manage to retain a sense of surprise due to Bunuel's camera which shows just enough to titillate the mind without going the graphic route. A young woman (Catherine Deneuve), stuck in a staid marriage to a doctor (Jean Sorel), secretly longs to be degraded which Buñuel shoots as fantasy sequences with great delight as the actress gets her clothes ripped off, tied, whipped and ravished. A chance conversation about prostitution allows her to explore a brothel run by a stylish madam (lovely Genevieve Page) and soon she is spending her afternoons sexually servicing men under the guise of "Belle de jour". The men demand kinky sex involving whips, coffins and role playing. Her sex life with her husband improves after she comes into contact with a crook (Pierre Clémenti) with steel teeth and a rough manner in bed. Matters come to a head after a violent act allowing the young couple to finally come together. The film would not have worked without Deneuve's oozing sexuality which Buñuel slyly reveals by stripping it out of her gradually. The superb screenplay (written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière and based on a book) has a macabre sense of humour allowing the director to freely channel his obsessions with sex, death, anti-clericalism and hypocrisy which are laid bare for everyone to relish. A masterpiece.

Hotel Paradiso (Peter Glenville, 1966) 6/10

The classic bedroom farce gets a sporadically funny once over in this adaptation of a play by
Georges Feydeau and
Maurice Desvallière. The sparkling cast get around the silly plot and once they start running in and out of bedrooms, banging doors and hiding their identities from each other there are a few side splittingly funny moments. A henpecked man (Alec Guinness), married to a fat shrew (Peggy Mount), decides to have a fling with the sexy neighbor (Gina Lollobrigida) next door whose architect husband (Robert Morley) is going to be away for the night. The assignation point is a tatty hotel run by a Russian (Akim Tamiroff) where they all end up converging including a stammering friend, his four daughters, the maid and a nephew. When the police raid the place pandemonium ensues with everyone running around like headless chickens. Guinness returns to his delightful Ealing persona with his sly voice, expressive face and manic movements and while he lacks chemistry with his co-star she is a sight to behold in all her lovely period outfits. As the put upon spouses both Peggy Mount and the incomparable Robert Morley are hilarious. A film that starts off slow but ends up as a highly charged funny romp.

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (Paul McGuigan, 2017) 6/10

May-December romance between has-been former Oscar-winning Hollywood star, Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening), and young British wannabee actor Peter Turner (Jamie Bell) from working class Liverpool where she is acting on stage. The former sultry beauty with the sexy pout and Betty Boop-like voice is at the tail end of her life in 1981, seriously ill with breast cancer, and requests that she move into the house of his parents (Kenneth Cranham & Julie Walters). The story flashes back to 1980 Los Angeles when the 55-year old actress introduced her 28-year old lover to her mother (Vanessa Redgrave) and bitter sister (Frances Barber) who brings up her fourth marriage to the son of her second husband (director Nicholas Ray). Bell and Bening are very good as the star-crossed lovers and this is an affectionate, moving and humourous memoir about love and friendship. The film's best scene has the two stars dancing to "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey which perfectly captures the character of Grahame, a free bird full of vinegar and sass.

Flame of the Islands (Edward Ludwig, 1956) 4/10

Campy film which the stars appear to have taken on as a project simply to shoot it in the Bahamas. The screenplay has enough plot to cover five melodramatic films but this is a Republic studio production so it is all crammed into 90 minutes of screen time. A secretary (Yvonne De Carlo) is given a 100 grand by the wife (Frieda Inescourt) of her client with whom she assumes the woman had an affair. She takes the money and invests it in a casino in the Bahamas but is not aware that her partner (Kurt Kaszner) has also taken in money from the mob. Three men love her - an old pal (Zachary Scott), a fisherman (James Arness) and the love of her life (Howard Duff) who seduced her when she was 15 resulting in a still birth. Returning back into her life he has his nasty mother (Barbara O'Neill) in tow who makes it clear to her that she wants her son all to herself. This lady also turns out to be the dead client's mistress. A real mish mash of a plot and unevenly acted with De Carlo performing two cabaret numbers ridiculously gyrating her enormous hips which seem to titillate all the men around her. The garish cinematography adds to all the hysteria on display.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:19 pm

Footnote (Joseph Cedar, 2011) 7/10

Amusing comedy with Ealing overtones has simmering familial tensions running below the surface. It's almost a flip view of Bergman's "Autumn Sonata" - which was about the clash between a world famous concert pianist and her meek daughter who looks up to her famous mother but is also deeply resentful for being neglected as a child. The father-son duo in this Israeli film (nominated for the foreign film Oscar) are rival professors in Talmudic studies. The old man has spent his lifetime in research without any recognition except getting a footnote mention in an esteemed scholar's book. His flippant son, on the other hand, is a best selling author, is widely heard on the talk circuit and recipient of many awards for his work which his father deplores but deep down covets too. Matters come to a head between the father and son in a serio-comic way when the prestigious Israel Prize is announced leading to deeply hidden resentments in both men rising to the surface. The film also touches on how destructive it can be on wives and children to live with self centered men who are oblivious to small gestures of understanding in their pursuit of work.

Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015) 6/10

Historically fascinating document about the Sonderkommando who were the special work units made up of German Nazi death camp prisoners, usually jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims at the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The film chronicles a day-and-a-half in the life of Hungarian-Jew, Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), in October 1944 at Auschwitz. He was part of that work unit clearing dead bodies from the gas chambers and cleaning and disinfecting the room before the next load of jews were exterminated in the showers. When he discovers a young boy still alive he becomes obsessed with giving him a jewish burial after a german doctor suffocates him to death. His relentless desire to find a rabbi amongst the condemned prisoners to perform the last rites coincide with a planned uprising against the Nazis by members of the Sonderkommando. The director shoots the entire film from this man's perspective keeping the camera in extreme close-up either on his face or on his back and shoulders so we only get to see and hear bits of the chaos around him with people in front and around him often out of focus. I found this shallow focus view point extremely jarring as the harrowing events surrounding the protagonist are totally diminished. I also did not find the character's drive to bury the boy (who may or may not be his son) very interesting as the main plot point - the desensitized man hopes to redeem himself by the act as a counter to his intense guilt for "collaborating" with the Nazi menace. This was the film debut for both the director and the lead actor and won an Oscar for Hungary as the year's best foreign film.

Invitation to the Waltz (Paul Merzbach, 1935) 6/10

London-born German star Lilian Harvey's only film shot in Britain is light fluff with a very busy plot. An English ballerina (Lilian Harvey) is persuaded by her government to become the mistress of a German duke in order to make him sign a treaty with England. Instead she falls in love with his aide (Carl Esmond) but also manages to accomplish the deed. However, before she can escape Napoleon invades and she is forced to perform during a command performance for him. Harvey is charming throughout and the film's highlight is her dance performance at the end with the great British ballet star Anton Dolin to the title song.

The Truth About Youth (William A. Seiter, 1930) 4/10

Static stage bound drama with romantic pairings of the odd kind. Flashy Myrna Loy runs off with the film playing a tarty golddigging showgirl with whom a young man (David Manners) is infatuated although he is engaged to his maid's prim daughter (Loretta Young). When his guardian (Conway Tearle) tries to buy off the worldly tart he doesn't realise that along with getting the young man weaned off her he will himself find love in a very unexpected place. Loy is great fun and has a great scene throwing a hissy fit when she realises that the man she is married to is penniless. A very pretty Young, playing the lead, comes off very bland compared to Loy. The film, ripe with clichés, is pre-code so flaunts sex at every step including a may-december pairing that would raise eyebrows in Hollywood today even though there is a touch of sophistication in that surprise reveal.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1967) 8/10

Notwithstanding the mawkish and manipulative screenplay, this film's subject remains shockingly very relevant even today. The more people change the more they sadly remain the same. Inter-racial marriages may have made many a stride in the West but in many parts of the world this film's message - substitute race for religion or within sects in the same religion - speaks out loud and clear in today's world where hatred and unacceptance still rules supreme. A young white girl (Katharine Houghton) in love with a prominent black doctor (Sidney Poitier) breaks the news to her affluent and broadminded parents (Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn) causing much consternation all around especially with his middle-class parents (Roy Glenn & Beah Richards) arriving for dinner. The voice of reason and doom respectively are a family friend and Monsignor (Cecil Kellaway) and the black family maid (Isabel Sanford). The simplistic but well meaning screenplay sets up the actors in twos and threes as it gets them to discuss the issue with a lot of dramatic dialogue. The superb cast knew they were making a film on an important and very relevant subject - it was 1967 USA with the Civil Rights Movement at its height with "change" in the air - too bad things haven't QUITE changed in the USA all that much although that's a subject for another time. It was also Tracy's last film - he was very ill - and his last teaming on screen with Hepburn and he gets a great monologue at the end which was also a reflection on his own offscreen 25-year relationship with Hepburn. Nominated for ten Oscars it won two - for Hepburn (her third) and the screenplay. The film, Kramer, Tracy, Kellaway, Richards, the music score, art direction and editing were all nominated. Extremely moving film.

Death Race (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2008) 6/10

A remake of the cult film from the 1970s this version is lifted by Jason Statham's quiet but simmering performance. It's the future and prisons are controlled by private corporations. Into one such location an Ex-con (Jason Stathman) finds himself incarcerated on trumped up charges of murdering his wife. The place is run by a vicious warden (Joan Allen) who blackmails him into participating in a deadly car race involving inmates who drive souped up vehicles fitted by all sorts of weapons to use on each other. Spectacular stunts and extreme violence are the order of the day as it becomes a race against time trying not only to survive but also figure out who was responsible for his wife's murder and his imprisonment. Helping him is a wise old inmate and a mechanic (Ian McShane). Joan Allen, cast against type, has a field day playing a vicious bitch from hell and is great fun to watch as she places obstacles in the way of the drivers. This relentlessly grim, humorless and formulaic film is hypnotic like a video game but helped by the performances it emerges as a winner.

The Steel Trap (Andrew Stone, 1952) 7/10

Simplistic but effective suspense story about a robbery that leads to a conscience stricken dilemma. A bank officer (Joseph Cotten) finds a loophole in the extradition treaty with Brazil and decides to steal a million dollars from the bank vault on a Friday evening and fly out of the country. Every step of the plan works but is full of hurdles along the way as the man and his unsuspecting wife (Teresa Wright) have to face delays related to their passports, assorted flight snafus, suspicious airport officials leading up to his wife discovering the truth about all the cash in his suitcase. Gripping suspense, a constant feeling of dread and superb cinematography by Ernest Laszlo makes this a film well worth catching. Joseph Cotten gives an excellent performance as a staid man who suddenly gets an illicit urge to steal and will do anything to reach his destination. The implausible screenplay keeps the momentum going right through to the end as the situation comes full circle for the man and his wife and just in the nick of time.

Hers to Hold (Frank Ryan, 1943) 6/10

Pleasant fluff with lashings of wartime propaganda and a steady mix of songs by the once child star finally stepping into the shoes of a leading lady. Romance between a rich girl (Deanna Durbin) and a pilot (Joseph Cotten) about to fly off overseas. Durbin is in great voice singing an aria from "Carmen", Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" and the Oscar nominated wartime anthem "Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There". The romantic scenes are appropriately endearing (even though Cotten was 16-years older than Durbin) and the comedy is amusing courtesy of Charles Winninger as the relentlessly befuddled old dad who manages to mouth off a patriotic speech contrary to his character's image to appease the WWII audiences. Also interesting to see the scenes set inside an aircraft manufacturing plant where Durbin works as a riveter.

Crime By Night (William Clemens, 1944) 6/10

After years of playing second leads and in B-films Jane Wyman, with this film, was finally one film away from becoming a huge star. Snappy murder mystery is a pleasant variation of "The Thin Man" as a bourbon-soused private detective (Jerome Cowan) is asked by his friend to solve the murder of his father-in-law. The man is estranged from his wife (Eleanor Parker) and fighting for custody of his daughter. Helping the detective is his wisecracking secretary (Jane Wyman) as they dodge the local incompetent cops while looking for clues. Despite an erratic script the film is fast paced with Wyman coming off best.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:20 am

Mademoiselle de Jancquieres (2018) Emmanuel Mouret 5/10
The Summer House (2019) Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi 7/10
Girls of the Sun (2018) Eva Husson 4/10
One Nation, One King (2018) Pierre Schoeller 4/10
The Sisters Brothers (2018) Jacques Audiard 7/10
Non-Fiction (2018) Olivier Assayas 7/10
The Trouble with You (2018) Pierre Salvaderi 4/10
Claire Darling (2019) Julie Bertucceili 4/10
A Faithful Man (2018) Louis Garrel 5/10
Sink or Swim (2018) Gilles Lellouche 4/10
Amanda (2018) Mikhael Hars 7/10

Repeat viewings

Normal Life (1996) John McNaughton 6/10
Edward II (1991) Derek Jarman 10/10
Last Year at Marienbad (1961) Alain Resnais 9/10
The Pyjama Girl Case (1978) Flavio Mogherini 7/10
Anna Christie (1930) Clarence Brown 7/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:48 am

Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2018) 6/10

Relentlessly downbeat film has an intensely raw internalized performance by Charlie Plummer who begins to (literally) run each time life brings a blow. A lonely teenager, living with his jovial but neer-do-well dad, finds a job looking after the race horses of an irascible trainer (Steve Buscemi) bonding closely with one called "Lean on Pete". After a tragedy and discovering that the trainer is about to sell the horse he takes off with him cross country to search for his aunt (Alison Elliott). British director Haigh goes from very homegrown surroundings of his previous films to the vast American outback with beautifully shot scenes on the wide Western plains. The journey across has various encounters with very different people drowning in social ills allowing the young boy to grow stronger through each experience. There is a quietly lived-in feeling about this story which is more about the feeling of helplessness the boy experiences within life's cruelty. Buscemi, as always, is superb.

Lady in the Iron Mask (Ralph Murphy, 1952) 5/10

Rather tired version of the Alexander Dumas story gets a gender flip with the 3 Musketeers, led by D'Artagnan (Louis Hayward - who played the man in the iron mask in 1939), trying to save the life of the princess (Patricia Medina) kept in a dungeon while her twin rules. The plot goes through the usual horse chase sequences, sword and fist fights but is rather lifeless. Ernest Laszlo's cinematography and Dimitri Tiomkin's zesty score are plus factors.

The Looming Tower (Craig Zisk, John Dahl, Ali Selim, Michael Slovis & Alex Gibney, 2018) 8/10

Fascinating ten-part miniseries based on the Pulitzer prize winning book by Lawrence Wright about the events leading up to 9/11 and the frantic pursuit of Al-Qaeda that began when the American embassy in Nairobi was bombed in 1998. The chase to get to the roots of Al-Qaeeda was massively bungled due to the powerplay between the FBI and the CIA - the latter failed to share vital information about Saudi terrorist operatives who it was later discovered had entered the United States in early 2000 and who were on the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The riveting screenplay follows the head of New York’s FBI Counter-Terrorism unit, John O’Neill (Jeff Daniels) who, helped by agent Ali Soufan (Tahar Rahim), relentlessly pursues leads on Al Qaeeda which results in a clash with CIA analyst, Martin Schmidt (Peter Sarsgaard), and his team who at the behest of the CIA head (Alec Baldwin) holds back vital information from the FBI which inadvertently leads to the 9/11 tragedy. Superbly acted film has nail biting suspense despite knowing the outcome which led to so much death and destruction. And the irony befalling John O'Neill after he is forcibly asked to resign is especially sad. A must-see.

Mortal Engines (Christian Rivers, 2018) 6/10

Extremely loud, CGI ridden, fantasy film that takes its cue from Mad Max and the Star Wars franchise. It's our world, post apocalypse, far off into the future with London town traveling on wheels devouring smaller towns to sustain itself. The city, with the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral resting on top like a crown, is steered by a megalomaniac (Hugo Weaving) who is upto some mischief inside the bowels of the church. A mysterious young woman holds the key to stop the madman who years before killed her mother. Helping her along the way are an outcast from London and a slinky outlaw as she is chased by a zombie machine who was once her friend. Like most fantasy films today the plot is absolutely absurd but makes up with non-stop action as the cast of mostly unknown young actors run askew through a world created via outstanding production design.

Mascara (Patrick Conrad, 1987) 7/10

The deranged world of 80's Eurotrash culture is the backdrop of this fascinating film which could easily pass off as one of the early films of John Waters or Pedro Almodovar. A chic and androgynous Charlotte Rampling is surrounded by an eclectic group of characters - an opera designer lover (Derek de Lint) who is hated by her brother (Michael Sarrazin), a Police Superintendent who adores opera, has a fetish for white female dresses and an obsessive and incestuous eye for his sister. The film's main plot involves the murders of two transvestite performers being investigated by the police and set mainly inside the bowels of a large theater club called "Mister Butterfly" which is a blend of cabaret, new wave and opera. Sleazy and bizzare film has elegant appearances by transgender star, Romy Haag, as the madame-manager presiding over the club and her brood of lip syncing drag queens (one of the outrageous concert sequences involve a drag queen impersonating Tina Turner singing while dressed up in her Mad Max garb). Eva Robins, the famous Italian transgendered star of tv, music, fashion and film, has a prominent role and has the film's most famous scene which predated a similar moment that gained more notoriety five years later in "The Crying Game". This is a rare campy cult film that deserves to be seen more widely not only for its audacious yet disturbing excesses but also to see just how eclectic and interesting Charlotte Rampling's career choices have been.

Free Solo (Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, 2018) 4/10

Rock mountain climbing with or without ropes is a world totally alien to an acrophobe like me. I mean why would someone want to endanger their life by climbing a sheer rock wall? I guess everone is entiltled to whatever gives them a high. This Oscar winning documentary is about Alex Honnold who became the first person to free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000 foot high El Capitain rock. One can't deny the passion of this person but the film quickly gets repetitive with friends and colleagues fawning over the climber's accomplishments. Sitting through endless shots of climbing sequences are akin to watching slow games like golf or cricket or watching paint dry on a wall. A great achievement for Honnold is a boring time for me at the movies.

Look Away (Assaf Bernstein, 2019) 4/10

Pretty but put-upon high school teenager (India Eisley) discovers her evil twin inside the mirror, swaps places with her and wreaks vengeance on everyone who did her wrong or made fun of her. A variation on the "Carrie" theme keeps getting more and more unpleasant as it evolves into a silly slasher flick. Is she psychotic? Is there really a twin or is she using that in her mind to seek vengeance. India Eisley, daughter of Olivia Hussey, is good and an interesting addition to the new faces in Hollywood but this vehicle is too formulaic for her to make any sort of positive mark. Jason Isaacs as her womanizing dad and Mira Sorvino as her mentally depressed and neglected mom are both wasted. Flat and uninvolving film.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:49 pm

Greta (2019) Neil Jordan 2/10
In Safe Hands (2018) Jeanne Herry 7/10
I Feel Good (2018) Benoit Delepine & Gustave Kervern 6/10
The Fall of the American Empire (2018) Denys Arcand 8/10
Keep Going (2019) Joachim Lafosse 1/10
By the Grace of God (2019) Francois Ozon 8/10
The Four Sisters (2018) Claude Lanzman 7/10
Leaving Neverland (2019) Dan Reed 8/10

Repeat viewings

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) Ernst Lubitsch 7/10
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) Peter Yates 7/10
Night of the Demon (1957) Jacques Tourneur 9/10
Scarface (1932) Howard Hawks 7/10
The River (1984) Mark Rydell 5/10
Panique (1946) Julien Duvivier 8/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:18 pm

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Robert Rodriguez 4/10
Vox Lux (2018) Brady Corbet 6/10
A Summer at Grandpa's (1984) Hsiao-Hsian Hou 7/10
Sharp Objects (2018) Jean-Marc Vallee 4/10

Repeat viewings

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) William Keighley 7/10
The Invitation (2015) Karyn Kusama 7/10
Out of the Past (1947) Jacques Tourneur 8/10
Notorious (1946) Alfred Hitchcock 8/10
The Last Movie (1971) Dennis Hopper 6/10
Smart Money (1931) Alfred E. Green 7/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:52 am

Precious Doll wrote:
Reza wrote:At Eternity's Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018) 6/10

Paul Friend as his beloved brother Theo



Reza, its Rupert Friend.


Haha thanks for the correction.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:16 am

Reza wrote:At Eternity's Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018) 6/10

Paul Friend as his beloved brother Theo



Reza, its Rupert Friend.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:04 am

Gully Boy (Zoya Akhtar, 2019) 9/10

Passionately directed coming-of-age story is set in Dharavi, a slum right in the center of Mumbai, where thousands of people live in extremely cramped quarters. These are people whose lives are ordained by abject poverty, petty crimes, drug dealing and who are too scared to dream of a better life simply because they know this is the only way of life they will live. The sensitive screenplay uses this milieu while focusing on Murad (Ranveer Singh), a young Muslim student fond of American rap music, who to his delight discovers that his city has an underground Hindi hip-hop scene where young men and women weave their sad, angry, poverty ridden lives into songs which talk about injustice and humiliation that surrounds them. This is also a vivid story of the slum dwelling itself - small living quarters housing entire families - which is superbly photographed by a camera that weaves snake-like through narrow streets and in and out of small homes in the densely populated slum. Every character, big or small, is written with such vivid detail that just looking at them on screen one can easily etch out their life arc. The story charts the defiant course taken by Murad to follow his dream of becoming a rap singer and this brings him into conflict with his violent father (Vijay Raaz) who not only tells him to stop dreaming big but who has also disturbed their family equilibrium by marrying a second time and moving his younger wife into their one bedroom home which already houses his first wife, elderly mother and two sons. On a lighter side is Murad's intense romance with Safeena (Alia Bhatt), a possessive Med-student, who dresses conservatively and wears a hijab. The film's myriad of characters surrounding Murad include Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) his rap mentor, Moeen (Vijay Varma) his close friend who is a petty thief and drug dealer and Sky (Kalki Koechlin) a rich girl who encourages him to make a video and with whom he has a one night stand which complicates his relationship with Safeena. Superbly acted film has career high performances by both the leads. Ranveer Singh completely tones down his familiar flamboyance giving a remarkably restrained portrayal while Bhatt matches him every step of the way playing a vivacious and sharp witted young woman who knows with great precision the path she has chosen in life - to be a surgeon and to marry Murad her childhood sweetheart. Their scenes together have great heart as their romance plays through various ups and downs. No Bollywood film would be complete without its songs and this is where the story soars through the exciting use of over 20 rap songs which provide hard hitting social commentary through their lyrics. This heartfelt film, full of vibrant energy, uses its long running time to lovingly create characters, atmosphere and also manages to observe Mumbai's sharply contrasted Westernised elite and contrast them with the servant underclass. Superb film is a must-see.

At Eternity's Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018) 6/10

Schnabel's idiosyncratic and wildly uneven film about Vincent Van Gogh has a towering central performance by Willem Dafoe. Using a handheld camera Benoît Delhomme keeps the action lurching through stunning shots of the countryside - deep yellow fields of sunflowers, barren rocky terrain and wheat fields - which the artist uses for inspiration. The screenplay focuses on the latter period of Van Gogh's destitute life which was full of misery caused by unappreciation for his work along with his horrific mental decline. The film uses extreme closeups of the actor's tormented face as he either talks directly at the screen or converses with various characters played by an assortment of stars - Oscar Isaac as Paul Gaughin with whom there are heated discussions about the nature of art and for whom maybe Van Gogh chopped off his ear, Emmanuelle Siegner as an inn keeper, Mads Mikkelsen as a priest, Rupert Friend as his beloved brother Theo and Matthieu Almaric as a doctor. The film is more about the images Schnabel creates and his decision to shoot a lot of the story using POV shots makes it a vastly different take to previous cinematic incarnations about this genius painter. Dafoe, nominated for an Oscar, has a great face of which Schnabel makes full use presenting the artist into an almost Christ-like figure.

Ben Is Back (Peter Hedges, 2018) 6/10

Intimate little drama that starts off with great insight about the difficulties faced by families with a drug addicted child but it suddenly takes on the mantle of a tense thriller which appears jarring. A former drug addict (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home from rehab for a 24 hour period on Christmas eve. His mother (Julia Roberts) and young step siblings are thrilled but his sister and stepdad (Sterling K. Brown) are weary of him and disturbed by his appearance. During the following day the boy's past life is gradually revealed to his loving and horrified mother as certain forces within the town try to wean the young man back into their evil fold. Hedges, an interesting young actor, continues his recent streak of great performances here under the direction of his own father. But this film is equivalent to the great women-centric films of the 1940s and becomes more a showcase for Julia Roberts who despite that familiar high wattage smile manages to subvert her star persona and completely gets into the skin of her character - a very concerned mother who refuses to give up on a son who has spent most of his life lying, cheating and getting deeply enmeshed into drug addiction. She gives an extremely moving performance suppressing her anger and rage and quietly balancing it with love, belief and forgiveness. The last third of the story gets bogged down in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with too many coincidences and potholes littering the screenplay. Despite this the film manages to showcase the harrowing after effects of drug addiction on families - some who lose their loved ones while others have to helplessly watch the daily struggles of the addict trying to stay clean.

Seven Thieves (Henry Hathaway, 1960) 6/10

It's always a great pleasure to see Edward G. Robinson on screen in his familiar avatar. Playing a scientist just out of prison he decides to pull off one last heist before he dies. The plan is to rob a casino in Monte Carlo and close off his crime career on a high before he dies. What starts off as a fool proof plan encounters a couple of bumps along the way. An eclectic cast of stars - Rod Steiger, sexy Joan Collins wearing slinky Oscar nominated gowns, Eli Wallach and Alexander Scourby - play other members of the gang of crooks. Old fashioned and well acted film - Steiger dispenses with his usual ham and plays it subdued while Collins actually acts instead of merely being decorative. Many tense moments during the robbery sequence.

Faster (George Tillman Jr., 2010) 3/10

Crappy revenge drama - ex-con (a stone faced Dwayne Johnson) goes after a group of people who killed his brother and left him for dead. Acting like a vigilante he starts shooting them point blank one by one. Hot on his trail are a cop (Billy Bob Thornton) with secrets of his own and a relentless hit man. The film has endless car chase sequences with Johnson driving like a maniac but its all pretty stale and lifeless.

Too Big to Fail (Curtis Hanson, 2011) 7/10

The 2008 United States Financial meltdown and the attempt to save Lehman Brothers gets a replay in this HBO film with some white washing along the way. Great cast.

The Vicious Circle (Gerald Thomas, 1957) 7/10

Harley Street doctor (John Mills) discovers the dead body of a german actress in his flat which sets off a chain reaction of a sinister plot involving blackmail. Typical Hitchcock-like suspense drama has an innocent man stuck in the midst of a situation from which crawling out gets more and more difficult. Superb cast of British actors - Derek Farr, Wilfred Hyde-White, Noelle Middleton, Lionel Heffries, Roland Culver, Mervyn Johns - play various pawns in the mystery. The director (Gerald Thomas) and producer (Peter Rogers) behind this project later became famous for the series of hilarious "Carry On" films.

Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018) 6/10

A geeky fanboy's delight with its pop culture shit coming at you at breakneck pace. This is Spielberg's ode to all geeks out there and foremost an ode for himself as well. A futuristic world (Ohio here) resembles a giant junkyard where people spend their time getting off on a virtual reality game called the Oasis. Created by a genius (Mark Rylance), now dead, who has left three keys to a puzzle in a virtual maze which hold the answer to their problems - the prize is his Corporate Company's stock. An orphan (Tye Sheridan), helped along the way by his robot pal Aech (Lena Waithe) and a kool chick Ar3mis (Olivia Cook), try to find the other keys staying one step ahead of the Corporate overlord (Ben Mendelsohn) hell bent on finding the other keys using an entire army at his disposal. The chase is on as CGI goes into overdrive with battles galore which Spielberg gleefully punctuates throughout by familiar pop culture virtual images accompanied by old songs on the soundtrack by the likes of Van Halen ("Jump" opens the film), Tears For Fears, Joan Jett, Prince, Blondie, The Temptations, The Bee Gees, Bruce Springsteen, Hall and Oates and Earth Wind and Fire. An homage to Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is one of the film's highlights. Like all pop culture the film dazzles but in the end doesn't really add any gravitas but its great fun while it lasts. And the soundtrack to this film is a must-buy.
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:14 am

Consequence (2018) Darko Stante 5/10
At Eternity's Gate (2018) Julian Schnabel 2/10
Life Itself (2018) Dan Fogelman 1/10
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Barry Jenkins 8/10
Blindspotting (2018) Carlos Lopez Estrada 5/10
Serenity (2019) Steven Knight 1/10
The Tree of Blood (2018) Julio Medem 2/10
Stan and Ollie (2018) Jon S. Baird 5/10
Wild Nights with Emily (2019) Madeleine Olnek 5/10
Sauvage (2018) Camille Vidal-Naquet 5/10
High Flying Bird (2019) Steven Soderbergh 2/10

Repeat viewings

Carmen Jones (1954) Otto Preminger 7/10
Chimes at Midnight (1965) Orson Welles 8/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:30 pm

Destroyer (Karyn Kasuma, 2018) 6/10

Nicole Kidman gives a harrowing performance in this neo-noir thriller looking like death on two legs. I couldn't make out if it was Hollywood makeup magic that created her washed up, angst ridden freckled face or was it the other way round with Kidman's actual face scrubbed clean of makeup. Crime ridden Los Angeles always seems so downbeat, cynical, seedy and corrupt in movies ("Chinatown", "To Live and Die in L.A.", "L.A. Confidential") with cops mirroring the city they live in. An LAPD detective (Nicole Kidman), drunk and disheveled, harbors a 16-year guilt over a sting operation that went wrong causing her to suffer a nervous breakdown from which she hasn't managed to recover. The discovery of a dead body starts a chain of events that takes her into the dark past from which it becomes clear that recovery for her is going to be next to impossible. The screenplay flits between the present, where she attempts to find a ghost from her past, which in flashbacks we gradually discover what brought her to her present almost catatonic state. This interesting premise is let down by a deathly pace as Kidman goes through the motions of her dismal life - interacting with her flighty and angry daughter, ex-husband, colleagues and suspects (a grotesque encounter with one suspect involves a hand-job to get the required information). There are two action set pieces, both involving tense shootouts during bank robberies, that are handled with a raw quality by the director who otherwise fails to keep up with Kidman's gritty and mesmerizing performance.

Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke, 2018) 4/10

Visually dull, listless retread of the dramatic rivalry between two great monarchs, both cousins, Queen Mary (Soirse Ronan) of Scotland and Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) of England. Both actresses are miscast as neither has the aura to play these fiery queens. It's as if we are watching two school girls performing in their high school play. The grand sense of majesty brought to these parts in past films by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson and Helen Mirren is sadly missing. The dense plot has the Catholic Mary return as widow of the Dauphin of France to rightfully claim the Scottish throne and get into a dire twist amongst raging Protestants in Scotland. Her rough marital associations with first her cousin Lord Darnley and then after his murder with the Earl of Bothwell are further cause of trouble as she is labeled a whore by the agitating religious populace. Elizabeth appears sporadically in the film and is goaded on by the men at her own court to marry and produce an heir which her cousin has managed thus becoming a serious threat to the English throne. The scene of a fictional meeting between the two monarchs is used for dramatic effect with an underused Robbie shining briefly during their encounter. Her face ravaged by small pox, covered by white chalk-like makeup and wearing a scruffy red wig Elizabeth admires Mary's youthful beauty and envies her son. The film also absurdly resorts to revisionist casting with a number of courtiers played by asian and black actors none of whom would have been allowed within a ten mile radius to either of the courts. In the end history favoured both monarchs. Elizabeth I ruled England for 45 years and while she had Mary executed it was the latter's son who ruled both England and Scotland after her own death as King James I.

Constantine (Francis Lawrence, 2005) 6/10

Dante's vision of hell - red and hot with emaciated demons with chewed up faces running around on all fours - gets a look-over in this supernatural film based on the graphic "Hellblazer" comic books. A woman commits suicide but her cop twin sister (Rachel Weisz) thinks she was murdered because she believes that being a devout Catholic she could not have killed herself. Constantine (Keeanu Reeves), chain smoking and dying of lung cancer, has the "gift" of being able to see demons and angels on earth and makes it his mission (with a side job of playing exorcist) to send the demons back to hell. The screenplay plays like a detective mystery as the man helps the cop solve the mystery of her sister's death. Reeves gives a magnetic (if stiff) star turn as the droll demon-hunter with a miscast Weisz who seems to be going through this drill just for a paycheck. Having great fun are Tilda Swinton sporting gigantic wings as a bitchy archangel (Gabriel) and Peter Stormare as a campy Satan in a white suit that was once upon a time trendy at Studio 54. The noir-like atmosphere and the cheesy effects make this a fun variation of "The Exorcist" of which it is a hybrid spawn.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:29 pm

The Front Runner (Jason Reitman, 2018) 4/10

I've often wondered why the media in our country only concentrates on the corruption of politicians and avoid the subject of their sexual proclivities. Apparently the private sex lives of politicians was off limits in the United States too until suddenly in 1988 the front runner status of Gary Hart as President was derailed by the media due to a sexual scandal involving Donna Rice (Sue Paxton), the blonde seen going into the D.C. townhouse with him. Tabloid journalism went from strength to strength with Hart later recalling, "I watched journalists become animals, literally." This rather lifeless film also raises an interesting "what if" question. What if Hart had become President.....would the Gulf War and later the invasion of Iraq been avoided? Hugh Jackman exudes charm with underlying sinister undertones but most of the other gifted cast members get shortshrifted in underwritten parts - Vera Farmiga as Lee Hart, J.K. Simmons as Bill Dixon, the campaign manager and Alfred Molina as Ben Bradlee. Reitman tries to jazz things up a bit â la Robert Altman moving his camera snake-like and capturing various characters and their snatches of overlapping dialogue. Once the scandal is exposed the screenplay seems to move away from Hart and shows more concern with what the American public want. In the end we never see what made Hart so popular with the voting public or what made him be unfaithful to his wife. It's hard to feel sympathy for a character who comes off cold and distant.

The Stand at Apache River (Lee Sholem, 1953) 5/10

A group of disparate people - a sheriff (Stephen McNally), a Colonel (Hugh Marlowe), a stagecoach passenger (Julie Adams) and others - find themselves besieged at a small inn by marauding Apaches. Typical B-Western goes through the motions as one by one the white characters fall prey to the Apaches who themselves drop like flies as they get shot. Pretty Julie Adams is a standout (and unbelievably but exquisitely dressed to her teeth by Bill Thomas) in this briskly paced Universal western but the stale plot has a stench of deja vu written all over it even if it presents a more balanced view of Indians.

The Day Will Dawn (Harold French, 1942) 6/10

Flag waving WWII British propaganda film with stiff upper lip characters. An indolent journalist (Hugh Williams) is sent on a mission to Norway to pin point a Nazi submarine base to the British who plan to bomb it. Along the way he romances a young local girl (Deborah Kerr), gets help from her father (Finlay Currie) to reach the base, almost falls prey to an obese Nazi (Francis L. Sullivan), is caught and imprisoned and about to be killed by a firing squad when in the nick of time the British Navy arrives. Exciting and suspenseful wartime thriller was made at the height of the War with scenes of London being relentlessly bombed. Ralph Richardson has a small role as the droll friend of the journalist. Terence Rattigan wrote the screenplay.

The Owl and the Pussycat (Herbert Ross, 1970) 7/10

Opposites attract and hilarity ensues when a foul-mouthed hooker (Barbra Streisand) and a bookish intellectual (George Segal) meet up unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Based on a rather flimsy play (adapted by Buck Henry) that was in it's original premise (at least on stage) about an inter-racial couple played by Alan Alda and the Tony nominated Diana Sands. Streisand wanted Sidney Poitier to star opposite her but the studio balked and didn't think the American public would accept an inter-racial relationship in a major comedy release. The film was also Streisand's first film without songs having just come off three major Broadway musical film adaptations. The pairing with Segal is pure magic and the non-stop rat-a-tat dialogue is laugh out loud funny thanks to the superb comic timing of both stars. The play is opened up and along with scenes set in assorted apartments and in a bath tub the two stars are also filmed (mostly at night) walking on the streets of New York. The camera is obviously in love with Streisand and she looks "gorgeous" - the famous outfit with the flared bell bottoms and handprints on each breast certainly help. Her nude scene was cut before the film came out. This film also introduced Segal to the comedy genre in which he would go on to make many hit films while Streisand would soon repeat this performance of the annoying talkative female who verbally and physically accosts the unsuspecting male into total submission in the far superior "What's Up Doc?".

Man in the Dark (Lew Landers, 1953). 5/10

B-noir with a silly premise - bank robber (Edmond O'Brien) is caught by the cops, forced to undergo brain surgery to finish his criminal tendencies but finds himself suffering from amnesia with no recollection of his old life. When he is kidnapped by his old gang it becomes a race before time trying to retrieve his memory before he is killed. Film was originally shot in 3-D so a number of scenes have objects flying towards the audience. The film is somewhat redeemed by it's noir cast - Horace MacMahon, Ted De Corsia and the great Audrey Totter as a moll with a heart of gold - and a short running time.

Yellow Sky (William A. Wellman, 1948) 9/10

A lot of the success of this classic western is due to the exquisitely stark cinematography by Joseph MacDonald shot on Death Valley locations. Also making a mark is the strong cast, a bleak but taut screenplay by Lamar Trotti with shades of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", the sound design capturing the whispered movements of wind blowing through a derelect town and a lovely score by Alfred Newman. A group of bank robbers take refuge in a ghost town where they come across a grizzled old gold prospector and his feisty tomboy granddaughter (Anne Baxter). There is simmering conflict between two members of the gang - the "good" (Gregory Peck) and the "bad" (Richard Widmark) - which comes to a head eventually over the woman and the gold with the "good" going after the woman and the "bad" only having his eyes on the gold. Peck and Baxter start off antagonistic - she packs a mean wallop which he discovers to his surprise and shock - which gradually gives way to the expected clinch which comes in an offbeat way via a hat. The entire cast is superb - it's one of Peck's great performances and Baxter matches him every step of the way with her flashing eyes and tough stance compensating for her diminutive height - and Wellman creates many magnificent images - the trek through the salt desert with the tired and thirsty horses stumbling and buckling to their knees, the eerie silence in the ghost town and the final shootout.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:26 pm

Danger: Diabolik (Mario Bava, 1969) 9/10

Mario Bava's cult film is based on a popular European comic strip. Exploiting every cliché Bava's film, not unlike a number of the Bond films, puts across a campy violent thriller with incredibly over-the-top sets, action set pieces, trendy E-type Jaguars, lots of sex (including phallic imagery using stalactites and a hose gushing molten gold) and matte sequences galore. Diabolik (John Phillip Law), a super criminal, lives in his cave-like underground lair with his mistress (Marisa Mell). A master of complicated robberies involving gold bullion and emeralds he is relentlessly pursued by a cop (Michel Piccoli). Another criminal (Adolfo Celi) makes a deal with the cops to turn in Diabolik in exchange for a pardon. Fast paced film has a tongue in cheek quality, hilariously shoddy effects, a memorable score by Ennio Morricone, Bava's spectacular camera work with 360 degree turns and zooms. The film's hip and sexy costumes are a highlight - Marisa Mell's entire wardrobe is the height of sixties fashion while Law gets to wear tight black and white latex body suits as his disguise during the robberies with his mask designed by Carlo Rimbaldi (who later created E.T. and the mechanical head effects for the creatures in Alien). The icing on the cake is a delightful cameo appearance by Terry Thomas as a buffoonish government official. The film works at every level including the great chemistry between Law and Mell.

Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez, 2019) 7/10

Slick futuristic film is an elaborate live-action version of a popular Japanese anime. It is also a film made up completely by joining together ideas and images from a number of previous films - "A.I.", "Rollerball", "Elysium", "Transformers", "Blade Runner", "Ghost in the Shell", "Ben-Hur", "The Hunger Games" - and since James Cameron is the producer we get two distinct iconic images lifted straight from "Titanic". Old wine it may be but the fast paced plot manages to keep things moving with a number of spectacular action set pieces. A doctor / scientist (Christoph Waltz) discovers the body of a 300 year old teen cyborg (Rosa Salazar) in a trash dump, brings her to life and names her "Alita" after his own dead daughter. The amnesiac young girl (with an organic human brain) has super strength and a mysterious past which brings her into conflict and danger with assorted villains - cyborg bounty hunters, a Jack the Ripper-like killer on the loose, the doctor's chic ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly), her sinister mogul lover (Maheshala Ali) and an evil force (Edward Norton) housed in a floating metropolis high above the city. There is also a vapid romance with a teenage boy which stops the action dead in its tracks. All the fight sequences are well choreographed by Rodriguez as the teen machine goes into overdrive crunching cyborg skulls and slicing them apart with a sword including a brawl set in a bar straight out of a Western. The last third of the plot is a let down but the cliffhanger ending is obviously geared towards a sequel. I look forward to that just to see what Cameron hopes to do with this endearing teenage badass.

House of Cards (John Guillermin, 1968) 6/10

It's always a hoot to watch Orson Welles make cameo appearances in films because he manages to steal the show from the lead actors just by speaking in that distinct sonorous voice and showing his enormous girth. Here he plays an evil but very elegant megalomaniac involved in a neo-fascist plot to take over the french government. Nonsense that has a number of positives starting with great location work in Paris and Rome - the ending is shot inside the Colosseum and allows you access to areas that today you can go to only with a ticket. The plot involves the kidnapping of a young boy and an American boxer (George Peppard) attempting to foil it while romancing the child's mother (Inger Stevens). Action filled plot involves a number of chase sequences and deaths as bland but heroic Peppard and a stiff Stevens manage to make goo-goo eyes at each other.

Harry in Your Pocket (Bruce Geller, 1973) 5/10

An interesting cast in a film about pickpockets who are a dying breed of professionals with their own codes. The leader (James Coburn), who is in partnership with an old pro (Walter Pidfeon), takes on a young couple (Michael Sarrazin & Trish Van Devere) when he falls for the charms of the young woman. The couple are purely in the racket for a quick buck and the young man has no qualms about sharing his girlfriend. With the cops hot on their trail they try to stay one step ahead of them as they go about stealing. For a film about pickpockets there is very little shown about the actual thefts instead concentrating on the silly love triangle. The film's surprise package is Walter Pidgeon playing a coke snorting gentleman pickpocket who delights in being "pygmalion" to the young thief.

They Might Be Giants (Anthony Harvey, 1971) 8/10

Quirky screwball comedy is an underrated and forgotten comic gem with a charming performance by George C. Scott as a retired judge who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes. His brother who owes gambling debts tries to have him committed and gets a psychiatrist (Joanne Woodward), coincidently called Dr. Watson, to prove he is mad. The doctor finds herself whisked off onto a madcap adventure in New York as she follows Holmes on one of his delusional cases. The screenplay (based on a play by James Goldman) takes the two characters onto New York streets allowing various familiar actors from the NY stage to appear in sharp cameos - Jack Gilford, Lester Rawlins, Rue McClanahan, Theresa Merritt, James Tolkan, Eugene Roche, Kitty Winn, Paul Benedict & F. Murray Abraham. Woodward, as the flaky doctor, has great chemistry with Scott and their romance is sweet, tender and funny. Scott was nominated for a Bafta award.
Last edited by Reza on Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:57 am

Pig (2018) Mani Haghighi 4/10
A Paris Education (2018) Jean-Paul Civeyrac 4/10
Mid90s (2018) Jonah Hill 4/10
Making Montgomery Clift (2019) Robert Anderson Clift & Hillary Demmon 4/10
Mapplethorpe (2019) Ondi Timoner 3/10
Castle Rock: Season 1 (2018) Various 6/10
....But Film is My Mistress (2010) Stig Björkman 5/10

Repeat viewings

Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) Robert Aldrich 7/10
The Night of the Iguana (1964) John Huston 7/10
Kiss of Death (1947) Henry Hathaway 6/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One


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