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

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:15 am

Hail Satan? (2019) Penny Lane 7/10
A White, White Day (2019) Hlynur Palmason 4/10
Sunset (2018) Laszalo Nemes 4/10
The White Crow (2019) Ralph Fiennes 4/10

Repeat viewings

L'humanite (1999) Bruno Dumont 9/10
Beat the Devil (1953) John Huston 9/10
The Collector (1965) William Wyler 8/10
Melvin and Howard (1980) Jonathan Demme 9/10
The Other Side of Midnight (1977) Charles Jarrott 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 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:52 am

Crawl (Alexandre Aja, 2019) 7/10

This is certainly no classic but it bravely takes on the mantle of "Jaws" and proves to be a fun summer popcorn film complete with hokey dialogue and a number of jump scares. The jaws here belong to a couple of alligators who in true pesky fashion are relentless in their pursuit of a trapped girl and her injured father in the dark recesses of a rapidly flooding basement. The flood is the result of a category 5 hurricane in Florida and the gators are using a large drain pipe to enter the basement of a house - once the flood is in full effect more reptiles appear in the open chomping down on cops and looters - and the trapped father and daughter also have a strained relationship to resolve while fighting for survival. Ignore the familiar clichés and just sit back and enjoy this rollercoaster ride which preys on people's intense fear of getting eaten up alive. The film's claustrophobic setting helps a great deal - the cramped interior of the basement is a marvelous jumble of wires, pillars and other objects that hinder and help the two characters as they try to outwit the devious predators. Briskly paced film is a breath of fresh air compared to the endless series of comic book adaptations that have continued to assault the senses these past few summers.

Splendor (Ettore Scola, 1989) 9/10

Scola's charming film is not only a paean to motion pictures and an homage to movie theaters but it also vividly captures the lives of people living in a small provincial town in Italy. The screenplay mainly revolves around the lives of three people who form a love triangle while running a small cinema called "Splendor". Jordan (Marcello Mastroianni) is the owner of a small cinema which he inherited from his late father. Via flashbacks we see him as a child and how he helped set up a makeshift cinema with a large sheet in the town square on which his father projected films. Eventually moving into a small building the cinema is a huge success. He meets Chantal (Marina Vlady giving a vivacious performance), a french showgirl, and they fall instantly in love and she comes to work for him as an usher. Luigi (Massimo Troisi), a cinephile, visits the cinema initially because he is attracted to the woman and after a brief affair with her takes a job as the projectionist at the cinema. Attendance at the cinema takes a downswing after the advent of television and Jordan brings in strippers to drum up business. The film liberally uses clips from many international films (Truffaut, Bergman, Risi, Fellini, Costa-Gavras, many Italian comedies) conveying the medium's superiority over television but which sadly remains a prisoner to the public's taste. This is very similar to Giuseppe Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso" which came out the previous year, was a massive hit and somewhat took the edge off this film which unfortunately fell through the cracks. The film is a delightful reminder about the magic of movies and acted to perfection by the superb trio of stars. A must-see.

Pride of the Marines (Delmer Daves, 1945) 7/10

The Guadalcanal battle sequence is cringeworthy but totally in character as a marine (John Garfield) mows down 200 on-coming "Dirty Yellow Japs". The scene captures the raw emotion and terror of a soldier in battle as fellow marines die next to him and he shoots back in retaliation while cursing hysterically. The screenplay was nominated for an Oscar but I doubt that Hollywood, in these poiltically correct times, would dare to use the words that the actors here shout out to the enemy. The film is the true story of Al Schmid, his amusing courtship with a young girl (Eleanor Parker), joining up as a marine when war is declared - the scene where the characters react to the news on the radio is very real, a mixture of disbelief and nonchalance - most don't even know where Pearl Harbor is - a makeshift engagement at the train station, the battle where he kills 200 enemy soldiers but is blinded by a grenade in a suicide attack. The rest of the film deals with his rehabilitation and rejection of his sweetheart out of pride. The film goes on too long but Garfield is riveting throughout and Parker (let's not forget that sexy voice) is a wonderful smouldering presence as his loving, concerned and steadfast girlfriend. The screenplay also touches on racism against jews in the work place mixed in by the obligatory and cloying patriotism which was necessary during that critical time in history. Garfield rarely made a bad film and was always very good in whatever material he chose always making a strong impression.
Last edited by Reza on Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:49 pm

Spider-Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts, 2019) 5/10

It doesn't bode too well for a film when it finally perks you up during the closing credits making you instantly revisit your life during the summer of 1982 as you find yourself snapping your fingers and start singing along to The Go-Go's as their hit song "Vacation" starts playing. Along with that magic moment you make a mental note of planning a European vacation ASAP after seeing a number of major cities on the Continent and London get destroyed - a major plot point in the film which is shockingly stale. After the events of "Endgame" we find Peter Parker (Tom Holland) getting back into life but the shadow of Tony Stark / Iron Man looms large in his mind especially when he is summoned by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to jump into action and save the "world" against inter-dimensional creatures and the mysterious Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) who seemingly provides support. It also doesn't help that the main people in peril are a bunch of his very annoying high school classmates and teachers including the nerdy girl he has a crush on - they are all in Europe together on a school trip when the shit hits the fan. Screaming kids running from danger recalls all those silly slasher films churned out ad nauseum. Holland is a delight throughout but is surrounded by a lazy screenplay which is just not very compelling. The repititious fight sequences are a loud set of flashing effects which also quickly begin to grate. Contrived film is in desperate need of a plot.

Nobody Lives Forever (Jean Negulesco, 1946) 6/10

A con-man (John Garfield), just released from the army, takes time off in Florida spending big bucks he had left with an old lover (Faye Emerson). Meeting up with an old partner (Walter Brennan) he gets involved in a plan with another crook (George Coulouris) to bilk a naive rich lonely widow (Geraldine Fitzgerald) of her millions. When he unexpectedly falls in love with her he decides to drop the con much to the anger of his crooked partner. When the widow is kidnapped a predictable showdown becomes inevitable on a foggy dock where all the characters come together leading to death. Well acted film - Garfield is his usual tough self, Brennan does his drunk schtick and Coulouris is suitably oily but it's lovely Fitzgerald who walks away with the film giving an understated performance. Arthur Edeson works wonders with shadows giving this noir the appropriate dark look.

The Fallen Sparrow (Richard Wallace, 1943) 7/10

Talky, rather vague but exciting WWII espionage thriller with noir overtones. A Spanish war prisoner (John Garfield) escapes and arrives in New York to find himself embroiled up to his neck in Nazi spies. Suffering from paranoid delusions he keeps hearing the shuffling walk of the crippled man who tortured him in prison. The police are sceptical about his story - he never divulged important information during the torture in prison so the Nazis want him alive so they can extract it from him finally. He falls in love with an aristocratic woman (Maureen O'Hara) who has secrets of her own and whose grandfather is host to a group of sinister men including a man in a wheelchair (Walter Slezak) who has more than a passing interest in ancient torture techniques. The plot is convoluted but fast paced and Garfield is superb giving an incredibly detailed performance as the tough but mentally tortured guy who harbours inner demons from the past which visit him on a regular basis. As with all such films made during the war there is a strong propagandistic bent to it with Garfield managing to pull off a number of monologues which are desperate pleas to the American public enforcing the tragedy taking place in Europe.

I Died a Thousand Times (Stuart Heisler, 1955) 7/10

Overlong but gritty remake of Raoul Walsh's "High Sierra" which made Humphrey Bogart into a bonafide star. Roy "Mad Dog" Earle (Jack Palance) is released from jail and upon instructions from his dying crime boss (Lon Chaney Jr.) decides to pull one last jewel heist from a hotel with the assistance of two young punks (Earl Holliman & Lee Marvin). A dance-hall girl (Shelley Winters), moll of one of the punks, falls for Earle while he has eyes only for a pretty young girl (Lori Nelson) with a congenital clubfoot. Obsessed with her he pays for an operation which repairs her foot but she rejects his marriage proposal. Then the heist goes terribly wrong and he goes on the lam with the moll who remains steadfast in her love for him. Palance is electrifying as the seething, short tempered crook who also has a gentle side to him. Winters is equally fine as the lonely woman who clings to him and provides much needed comfort. Cult film noir unfortunately goes on too long but has many memorable moments along with stunning vistas of a vast desert alongside snow capped mountains shot in cinemascope by Ted McCord.

The Breaking Point (Michael Curtiz, 1950) 9/10

Ernest Hemingway's novel "To Have and Have Not" gets a second movie adaptation but this time sticks closely to the text unlike the first (also classic) version by Howard Hawks with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. A sport-fishing boat captain (John Garfield), with a wife (Phyllis Thaxter) and two daughters, gets in over his head during an economic crunch and tries desperately to drum up business to sustain his family. A deal to transport illegal immigrants on his boat ends up with a man getting killed followed by getting blackmailed into being the runaway "driver" for a group of crooks who have pulled off a heist. Curtiz directs the action sequences with a sure hand creating tension and suspense during the scenes set on the boat at sea. Patricia Neal, as a femme fatale, is one of the film's major highlights and all her scenes opposite Garfield have a crackling sexual chemistry as they flirt and banter. This is a terrific remake and was Garfield's own personal favourite of all his performances of this moral man who wrestles with his personal demons but finally reaches his breaking point - something this great actor was sadly facing also in his private life while being hounded by the communist witch-hunt in his country.

He Ran All the Way (John Berry, 1951) 9/10

This claustrophobic little drama was John Garfield's last film - he would die of a heart attack the following year at age 39. Shot under great duress as the star was being relentlessly investigated by Joseph McCarthy and his goons for having once been a member of the communist party. This tension-filled drama revolves around a hostage situation when a naive young girl (Shelley Winters) brings to her parents' (Wallace Ford & Selena Royle) home a stranger (John Garfield) she has met at the community swimming pool. Turns out he is a cop-killer who has stolen a bag full of money the previous day, is on the lam and holds the family hostage. This plot device (screenplay by Dalton Trumbo) was later much imitated in films and on tv. Mostly shot in extreme closeups and in stark black and white by James Wong Howe, the camera captures the fear and unease on each actor's face. Garfield is superb playing this tough but scared and lonely character - his life has been full of rejection which is vividly brought forth in the film's opening moments when he is awakened by his blowsy, alcoholic mother (a wonderful Gladys George) as she berates him and later angrily tells the cops to kill her son. Winters is equally good, completely toning down her usual mannerisms, as the insecure girl who would like a husband and finds herself attracted to the killer even though he is a danger to her family. Despite a tendency towards melodrama the film delivers a hard noir punch. Director Berry, John Garfield and Dalton Trumbo were all victims of the terrible blacklist.

South Sea Sinner (Bruce Humberstone, 1950) 2/10

Shelley Winters is most unconvincing trying to be sultry as a cheap and tawdry torch singer in a saloon on a South Sea island. In fact she is awful. Macdonald Carey is the seaman who returns to the island and not only catches her eye but gets embroiled again in an old case for which he was released for lack of evidence - collaboration with the Japanese during the war. The only entertainment value in this shoddy low budget B-film is seeing the hilarious wardrobe Winters gets to wear and the music of Liberace (in his film debut) as he moves his fingers like lightning on the piano keys. A bad remake of "Seven Sinners" with Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne. Skip this film.

Berlin Express (Jacques Tourneur, 1948) 6/10

Fascinating look at the cities of Frankfurt and Berlin during their postwar devastation. The film is shot almost like a documentary with an annoying narrator solemnly intoning the plot's background. Representatives (Robert Ryan, Robert Coote, Charles Korvin) of the occupying Powers join hands to search for a kidnapped german doctor (Paul Lukas) who has unspecified plans for the unification of his country after the war. Tourneur makes good use of the scenes set on a cramped train which form part of the film's thriller element. Photographed in stark black and white by Lucien Ballard who superbly captures the bleak surroundings of the city as the cast trudge through the rubble. Merle Oberon, who was married to Ballard, plays the french secretary to the disappeared german and although she dispenses with her usual glamour still manages to absurdly parade through the ruins dressed to her teeth wearing Orry-Kelly's designs.

Jungle Heat (Howard W. Koch, 1957) 3/10

Tepid actioner is set on the eve of the Japanese bombings on Hawaii. The island is a secret hotbed of intrigue as Japanese fifth columnists cause unrest amongst the locals on their plantations and in their industries. A local American doctor (Lex Barker) helps quell the situation while a visiting American (Glenn Langan) from the mainland causes havoc with his racist views and violent behaviour. When his sexy wife (Mari Blanchard) takes up with the doctor passions explode in more ways than one. Overbaked melodrama has wonderful location work and the two leads make an attractive pair but this B-film is just plain boring.

The Veils of Bagdad (George Sherman, 1953) 2/10

Boring hokum that weaves Hollywood's usual Arabian Nights fantasy and gives it a twirl by mixing in bouts of swashbuckling with more than a passing resemblance to "Robin Hood". Suleiman the Magnificent sends a trusted agent (Victor Mature) to exotic Bagdad to foil the local Pasha and his impotent Vizier (Guy Rolfe) who are planning an insurrection. Along the way he romances the Vizier's sex-starved wife (Virginia Field) and a sultry dancer (Mari Blanchard) who wants to kill the Vizier in revenge for killing her father. Mature, too old and heavy for the rooftop acrobatics, gets a lean stuntman to do all the action scenes. Silly of Universal studios for bringing in the actor when their own stable of stars had the younger Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis or Jeff Chandler who could have played this part in their sleep. The trouble was all three actors were already playing similar roles for the studio. Adding to the unintentional hilarity are the jarring American accents of the cast. Silly nonsense.

Frenchie (Louis King, 1950) 7/10

Colorful western with a rambunctious Shelley Winters as Frenchie who rides into town and opens up a gambling saloon. Basically a revenge yarn - she is back in town to take revenge from two men who killed her father 15-years before. Her successful business causes strain with the town's women who think she is a brazen hussy and want her to leave. The sheriff (Joel McCrea) watches with amusement as she stands her ground and tussles with his former lover (Marie Windsor) in a hilarious catfight which mistakenly identifies this film as a remake of "Destry Rides Again" where Marlene Dietrich and Una Merkel got into a similar catfight over James Stewart. Enjoyable film has a number of good things going for it - stunning colour cinematography, a witty screenplay, sexy Shelley Winters and the hilarious Elsa Lanchester as Frenchie's partner and confidante. Great fun!

Johnny Stool Pigeon (William Castle, 1949) 5/10

A noir with a social message about the evils of cocaine. US Treasury agent (Howard Duff) gets the help of a convicted criminal (Dan Duryea) to get to the root of a drug ring in Canada. The crook refuses at first but is coerced into becoming a stool pigeon in exchange for an early parole. Infiltrating the gang they get saddled with the ring leader's shabby moll (Shelley Winters) who wants to get away and falls for the agent while the convict shows an interest in her too. Tony Curtis, in one of his early screen appearances, plays a mute killer. Duryea is good, Winters is merely around as a prop and Duff is suitably stoic. An action-packed ending caps an otherwise rather bland film.

Larceny (George Sherman, 1948) 7/10

A con man (John Payne) plans to swindle a war-widow (Joan Caulfield) but falls for her instead. Meanwhile his sleazy partner is suspicious that he is having an affair with his girlfriend (Shelley Winters). In true noir fashion it all ends up in murder. Payne was always good in roles where his characters were caught between good and bad while Duryea is a hoot as the vicious and jealous hood. However, the film is stolen by Winters as the two-timing moll who gets all the film's snappy lines.

The MacKintosh Man (John Huston, 1973) 5/10

Once upon a time spy thrillers were so simple compared to the action packed, effects laden extravaganzas of today. Many, like this one, were also rather dry and in this case certainly not helped by Huston's lifeless direction. Whatever interest the film retains is in the star power generated by Paul Newman as an Australian British intelligence agent - he switches identities twice to an American and later to a Canadian. He is asked by the Home Secretary, MacKintosh (Harry Andrews), and his daughter (Dominique Sanda) to go undercover in prison to get to a Russian agent (Ian Bannen) and expose an important MP (James Mason) who is also suspected of being a communist spy. Whatever little action there is takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Ireland (with the moors of Scotland also blended into the scenes). There is a tepid car chase sequence and the convoluted plot is neatly wrapped up at the predictable climax. It is such a criminal waste to have two good looking leads opposite each other without any scene of them in bed together. Newman is grim throughout, lovely Sanda looks like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car but Mason has fun with his part dripping sarcasm as he intones in his mellifluous voice. One of Huston's many latter day misfires.

Pet Sematary (Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer, 2019) 4/10

Stephen King's novel gets a second film adaptation. It's a nasty piece using a young kid as a pawn to create horror. A couple (Jason Clarke & Amy Seimetz) move to rural Boston in a house adjacent to a pet cemetary. A little further up the burial ground is the story's pièce de résistance - a graveyard that resurrects dead animals and humans. What starts out as an eerie mystery soon devolves into an all-out slasher film with stabbings, gougings and impalements with poor John Litgow (as a neighbour) getting his Achilles tendon sliced before getting carved like a piece of steak. Fun time at the movies.

Congo Crossing (Joseph Pevney, 1956) 1/10

A bunch of criminals, on the run from the law, converge in a remote African country making use of the country's non-extradition law. It's upto a surveyor (George Nader) to help the just arrived blonde bombshell (Virginia Mayo) whom a killer has targeted for a hit. Even Peter Lorre playing the local police chief cannot save this boring talkathon. Lovely Virginia Mayo is a sight for sore eyes in this mess of a film. And to make matters worse Florida and the botanical gardens of Los Angeles substitute for Africa. The screenplay also forgets the obligatory animal shots although a python is briefly on view to give the production a bit of African flavour. Skip this crappy film.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:46 pm

Vladimir and Rosa (1971) Jean-Luc Godard 4/10
A Film Like Any Other (1968) Jean-Luc Godard 5/10
The Wolf's Call (2019) Abel Lanzac 2/10
Out Stealing Horses (2019) Hans Petter Moland 4/10

Repeat viewings

Dinner at Eight (1933) George Cukor 7/10
Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong 10/10
Goodbye Paradise (1983) Carl Schultz 8/10
The Life of Jesus (1997) Bruno Dumont 8/10
The Tale of Ruby Rose (1988) Roger Scholes 8/10
The Flame and the Arrow (1950) Jacques Tourneur 7/10
Alice Adams (1935) George Stevens 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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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:52 am

Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley, 2019) 7/10

The fourth installment in this 25-year franchise is a delightful fun ride with Woody (Tom Hanks) and his friends getting up to new adventures. Along the way life lessons are learned, new friendships are forged, old friends unite and nightmarish skirmishes are dealt with as a team. Moving story surrounded by exceptional animation and voice work by a great cast of actors.

Aladdin (Guy Ritchie, 2019) 5/10

Familiar tale gets a live-action, CGI infested face lift from the Disney animated classic. This fake Hollywood Arabian Nights exotica charmingly recalls the cornball but magical technicolor Fox studio films from the 1940s with Maria Montez and Sabu. Just as the Genie (voiced by Robin Williams) in the animated version was the star of the show here too the film gets a hip kick when Will Smith appears as the smart-mouthed Genie. Aladdin, apart from his acrobatic jumping across rooftops, and Princess Jasmine (here sporting a jarring American accent) are both dull characters and the evil Jafar, who plans to take over the Sultanate, could have been more hissable. The actors playing these characters are merely ok while the movie's charm rests on the Genie, a wily monkey and the magic carpet. The film's best song remains "A Whole New World".

Holiday Affair (Don Hartman, 1949) 7/10

The Christmas spirit and a precocious kid (Gordon Gebert) come between a love triangle involving the child's widowed mother (Janet Leigh), the lawyer (Wendel Corey) who loves her and the homeless and penniless stranger (Robert Mitchum) who uproots their lives with his good deeds. RKO put the laconic Mitchum, who had developed a hard nosed film persona through his many noir appearances, through this saccharine film when he got busted by the law for possession of marijuana for which he served a jail sentence. The film flopped but the star's off screen antics endeared him to the public and put no dent in his career. It is superbly played by all concerned and remains a moving and extremely pleasing film.

She ( Lansing C. Holden & Irving Pichel, 1935) 8/10

Spectacular adaptation of Sir H. Rider Haggard's story about "She"-who-must-be-obeyed who lives in a place which clearly inspired the 1937 Hollywood adaptation of Shangri-La in James Hilton's "Lost Horizon". Hollywood here changes the location from deep dark Africa to a fictional lost city in the snowbound Arctic. A scientist (Nigel Bruce) and his ward (Randolph Scott) go hunting for the lost flame of eternal youth which an ancestor discovered 500 years before. Their adventures along the way include meeting up with an old hermit and his daughter (Helen Mack), escaping an avalanche, almost getting sacrificed by "savages" before stumbling into the lost city ruled by the cruel despot "She" (Helen Gahagan) who remembers the handsome young man to be the lover she killed in a jealous rage 500 years before. Thrilled to have him back she wants to preserve his youth but grows jealous again over the young woman he favours instead. This leads to a memorable ending as Max Steiner's thundering score accompanies the action on screen. This delicious nonsense is superbly played out amongst enormous Art-Deco sets - the huge gate leading up to the city was the same one Hollywood created for the island in "King Kong". The film, once thought lost for many years, was discovered amongst the private collection of comedian Buster Keaton who gave the only known surving print for restoration. Oscar nominated for dance direction of the "Hall of Kings" sequence where "She" plans to have Helen Mack sacrificed as gyrating dancers bring her into a huge hall lined with enormous statues. This was the only film of Broadway actress Helen Gahagan who, after the film's failure, not only tried to buy up all the prints of the film but went on to successfully serve as a congresswoman and wife to Hollywood star Melvyn Douglas. Rumour has it that her character in this film was an inspiration for Walt Disney's beautiful, evil queen in "Snow White". A wonderful old-fashioned adventure film the likes of which are rarely made in Hollywood today.

Baaji (Saqib Malik, 2019) 6/10

Hotly anticipated film is not only Pakistani diva Meera's long awaited screen comeback but also Saqib Malik's debut as a film director. Malik, a long-time movie buff and a successful director of music videos, revels here with sharp references to films and iconic moments from Lollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood - it's almost as if he wants to incorporate every vivid movie-going memory and contemporary Pakistani pop-culture into his film. Every film lover will easily get the references to "All About Eve", "Sunset Boulevard" either via certain moments or dialogue during the plot or flashes of imagery invoking Glenn Close removing her facial makeup in "Dangerous Liaisons", Sridevi in the iconic yellow saree in "Chandni", a Yash Chopra moment during a song shot on stunning locations in the mountainous regions of Pakistan, Barbra Sharif dancing drunk to the song "Yeh Aaj Mujh Ko Kya Hua" in "Naukar" and Husna dancing to the song by Runa Laila, "Oh, Don't Be Silly" in "Sabaq" - both classic songs are memorably revisited here with an up beat tempo. The story is pure melodrama with a number of hilariously campy moments, a couple of excellent performances and also a few stiff ones. Irfan Ahmed Urfi's female-centric screenplay revolves around the relationship between two very different women who bond as friends but jealousy and intrigue shatters their friendship resulting in tragedy - a classic and very melodramatic scenario harking back to the Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s when female stars carried a film's plot. A poor but ambitious young woman (Amna Ilyas) from the wrong side of the tracks (the old city in Lahore) by chance becomes an assistant to a glamourous movie queen (Meera) whose star is seriously on the wane. Desperate to regain her position as a star she quickly accepts an offer as the leading lady in a film by a hot young new director (Osman Khalid Butt) just returned from America Both women fall for him leading to a love triangle that wrings itself into a frenzy of lust, longing, desire, treachery and ultimately murder. Amna Ilyas gives a superbly nuanced performance balancing her two very different lives - as the poor woman living in a cramped house who transforms into a confident do-gooder thanks to her new job as friend, confidante and advisor to her rich benefactress while living in a huge modern mansion. Through make-up and costumes her transformation is seamless. The great Lollywood star Meera looks stunning dressed in a mixture of high fashion dresses, casual attire and smartly tailored pant suits (she even gets to wear a swim suit and can actually swim) but is rather hit-and-run as an actress with her tendency to over act although the director manages to rein her in during some scenes where she shows moments of great tenderness. Osman Khalid Butt, sporting a hideous perm, dangles between his two leading ladies acting rather stiffly but shows great moves on the dance floor during two musical numbers. Of the supporting cast there are memorable turns by Nayyar Ejaz as a sleazy gay photographer and old Lollywood star Nisho returns to the big screen as the movie queen's sympathetic older sister. "Gangster Guriya", is a rap "item" number danced by actress-singer Mehwish Hayat while many famous Pakistani celebrities from the world of fashion, music, television and cinema make cameo appearances with the biggest surprise saved for the film's last shot - screen legend Mustapha Qureshi. Good first effort by Saqib Malik is somewhat undermined by the over-stuffed screenplay which goes in far too many different directions as it insists on throwing in moments from every possible genre.

The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes, 2019) 6/10

In an effort to portray their "cultural supremacy", the Soviet government in 1961 allowed the Mariinsky ballet to go on tour of Paris and London. Their lead dancer, Rudolph Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko), famously defected at the airport in Paris when his KGB handlers refused to allow him to carry onto London with the Company and instead planned to put him on a plane back to Moscow. Fiennes' film covers Nureyev's days spent in Paris as he dances to great acclaim, tours the city monuments, museums and gay bars, daringly mingled with french and British dancers and formed a close friendship with Clara Saint (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a Chilean socialite much to the growing consternation of the KGB. Via flashbacks the film shows his birth on the Trans-Siberian train to a poor Tartar Muslim family, his lonely childhood and interest in dance which led to his enrolment at the Bolshoi which he ditches for the Kirov (later Mariinsky) ballet Company where he soon became their principal dancer. Tutored by the famous ballet master, Alexander Ivanovich Pushkin (Ralph Fiennes), he retains his individualist tendency and aloof, often cruel, demeanor which gave him the Tartar tag of "White Crow". David Hare's screenplay provides a good perspective of the artistic world but the story tries to cover too much ground trying to show how he sees flashes of his life in paintings and statues - Ivenko, a Ukranian actor, does a creditable job - but the film comes alive during the electrifying ballet sequences and during the tense drama which unfolds during the defection which closes the film.

Fear / Angst / Non credo più all'amore (La paura) (Roberto Rossellini, 1954) 5/10

The least interesting film in the screen collaboration of Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman who started their relationship as lovers (causing an international scandal) followed by marriage. It is interesting that they took on the subject of adultery in this Hitchcock-like thriller with noir overtones. A woman (Ingrid Bergman) married to an elderly scientist breaks off an affair with her lover. Her life comes to a terror and guilt ridden halt when her lover's former girl friend comes calling with blackmail. Giving in to her she soon gets in over her head when each time more and more money is demanded followed by her wedding ring being snatched. At her wits end she decides to take drastic action. Superficial drama starts out well but soon turns into an hysterical melodrama with a lot of hand wringing, tears and a rather abrupt ending. It's always a treat to see Bergman but this is not anywhere near her finest hour.

Young Ideas (Jules Dassin, 1943) 3/10

Corny comedy that relegates both Herbert Marshall and Mary Astor to the stable of supporting actors and to add insult to injury typecasts the latter (who had won an Oscar just two years before) as the perennial mother to a growing stable of young and future stars at MGM. When their widowed mother (Mary Astor), a celebrated writer of a racy bestseller, gets married to a stuffy professor her grown-up kids (Elliott Reid & Susan Peters) plot to destroy the relationship. Both Marshall and Astor shine but Peters, a recent Oscar nominee, plays the lead in this unfunny farce. Silly fluff.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:06 am

Yesterday (2019) Danny Boyle 4/10
Elisa & Macela (2019) Isabel Coixet 5/10
Rolling Thunder Revue (2019) Martin Scorsese 5/10
Celeste (2019) Ben Backworth 1/10
Lotte in Italia (1971) Jean-Luc Godard & co 5/10
British Sounds (1970) Jean-Luc Godard & co 7/10
Her Smell (2019) Alex Ross Perry 2/10

Repeat viewings

The Grass Harp (1996) Charles Matthau 10/10
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) John Frankenheimer 9/10
Age of Consent (1969) Michael Powell 7/10
Le Bonheur (Happiness) (1965) Agnes Varda 8/10
War & Peace (1968) Sergey Bondarchuk 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 Precious Doll » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:36 am

Under the Silver Lake (2018) David Robert Mitchell 4/10
When They See Us (2019) Ava DuVernay 7/710
I Am Mother (2019) Grant Sputore 5/10
The Anatomy of Love (1954) Alessando Blasetti & Paul Paviot 4/10
63 Up (2019) Michael Apted 7/10
Khrustalyov, My Car (1999) Aleksey German 7/10
Boulevard (1960) Julien Duvivier 6/10
Skate Kitchen (2018) Crystal Moselle 5/10
The Edge of Democracy (2019) Petra Costa 6/10
The Cat (1971) Pierre Granier-Deferre 6/10

Repeat viewings

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987) Jack Clayton 8/10
A Face in the Crowd (1957) Elia Kazan 8/10
Black Sunday (1960) Mario Bava 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 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:31 am

The First (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Agnieszka Holland, Ariel Kleiman & Daniel Sackheim, 2019). 6/10

When the first mission to Mars goes horribly wrong the aerospace guru (Natascha McElhone) in charge of the program relentlessly pursues funding and approval from the government to continue. This eight-part series, set in the near future (shown in subtle ways via various gadgets), focuses on the key players who were in charge of the mission along with the crew members on board for the next mission as they reflect on the first disaster and come to terms with their personal lives as they get ready for the next flight. The Commander of the flight (Sean Penn), who backed out of the first mission, wrestles with personal demons - a wife who committed suicide and a teenage daughter who is a drug addict. A black lesbian astronaut (Lisa Gay Hamilton) has to deal with her partner and the fact that she has now been seconded as Commander to the upcoming mission. Another astronaut (an Asian) has to deal with her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's. All these personal dramas border on soap opera histrionics which bogs down the film. There is also Hollywood's now obsessive need to stuff a film with a cast of diverse ethnicity to please the masses although I suppose it does allow working actors to get roles in major productions. And the episodes are all directed with arty dream-like flourishes â la Terence Malick's "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder" which quickly begins to grate. There is exceptional work by Penn here giving a retrained performance devoid of his usual bombastic over acting.

Summer of Rockets (Stephen Poliakoff, 2019). 8/10

Time and place are always vividly brought to life in Poliakoff's period screenplays and with sharply drawn characters. The plot of this six-part series is set during 1957 Britain and revolves around an immigrant Russian (Toby Stephens), his jewish wife with a hint of aristocracy and his black business partner - a potpourri that raises eyebrows in class conscious and racist Britain. Their business involves selling hearing aids and the invention of the pager which interests MI5. When the family gets acquainted with an MP (Linus Roache) and his sad wife (Keeley Hawks) - who get their own sub-plot about their son who suddenly disappeared some years before - the plot takes a dramatic turn when MI5 asks the Russian to spy on the politician and the guests at the parties held at his countryside home. Superbly produced series has sharp turns by two stalwart British stars - Timothy Spall and Claire Bloom - in important supporting roles.

Red Joan (Trevor Nunn, 2019) 4/10

Romantic but extremely dreary true story about "Granny-Spy", the KGB's longest serving British traitor. The screenplay plays fast and loose with the life of Melita Norwood who here goes by a different name. Joan Stanley (Dame Judi Dench), an octogenarian, is suddenly arrested as a spy for having given the Russians plans about the atomic bomb just after the War years. The confused, hapless old lady pleads innocence and asks her lawyer (Ben Miles) for help. The story of young Joan (Sophie Cookson) flashbacks to her years at Cambridge (breeding ground of many a spy) as a student of Physics, her infatuation and affair with a Communist sympathiser (Tom Hughes) and her job as an assistant to a professor (Steven Campbell Moore) at a secret government laboratory where scientists are building an atomic bomb. When the United States drops the bomb on Hiroshima she is horrified at the death and destruction. Goaded on by her lover she decides to provide plans of the bomb to the Russians. She feels that if Russia also has the bomb it would make the United States and Britain think twice before using the bomb thus ensuring world peace. Riveting subject gets a rose-tinted treatment with sensible Joan losing her senses through her sexual affairs - she later falls for the married professor as well who is equally infatuated with her despite finding out about her exploits as a spy. Old fashioned film is well acted (although Dench, in her few scenes, appears to be suffering from Alzheimer's) and has excellent production values but the screenplay lacks urgency, intrigue or bite with events that merely plod along.

The Letter (John Erman, 1982) 3/10

Lee Remick steps into the giant shoes of Bette Davis in this extremely tepid tv remake of W. Somerset Maugham's book filmed memorably in 1940 by William Wyler. This film replicates the memorable opening from the old film as a woman (Lee Remick) shoots a man (Ian McShane) dead by emptying six bullets into him. She is the wife of a rubber planter (Jack Thompson) in Malaysia and gains sympathy with the British community, her lawyer (Christopher Cazenove) and the jury at her trial when she relates how she was attacked and almost raped by the man she killed. As soon as she is proved innocent of the crime a letter surfaces which holds incriminating evidence. Lifeless film has a rare lousy performance by the usually reliable Remick. She looks bored throughout and compared to the magnificent Bette Davis totally falls short. One of many weak remakes of old classics which regularly appeared on television during the 1980s.

Anna Karenina (Rudolph Cartier, 1961) 6/10

Rare if static and abbreviated BBC adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's book has the rather dubious pleasure of seeing a pre-stardom Sean Connery, with Scottish brogue intact, as Count Vronsky. "Dr. No" was still a year away and he makes a dashing, if brusque, lover to the married Anna Karenina (Claire Bloom). Their affair causes a stir and she is categorically told by her husband (Albert Lieven) that he will not tolerate a scandal. The lovers leave Moscow and retreat to the countryside where their once passionate affair begins to sour. He is bored and resorts to other affairs while she pines for the son she left behind. It all leads to the famous tragic end at a railway station. Bloom is exquisite as Tolstoy's doomed heroine but this low budget production, filmed in a tv studio, seems like a stage play.

The Woman on Pier 13 / I Married a Communist (Robert Stevenson, 1949) 6/10

Hilarious how the "Red Scare" petrified the United States during the 1940s and 1950s and this film's hysterical anti-communist plot is more enjoyable if you take it as a film noir involving blackmail. A successful man (Robert Ryan), working for a shipping company, is a healthy product of the "American Dream". He falls in love and gets married to a lovely woman (Laraine Day) he has known for only a week. Their happiness is blunted when his former lover (the superb Janis Carter) re-enters his life raking up muck from his past - apparently years before they were both members of the communist party but he got out as he did not agree with their ideology. When the members of the party blackmail him he tries to resolve the problem which leads to murder. Typical 1940s thriller is superbly photographed, has a great performance by Ryan, a glamorous Day and sultry Janis Carter who steals every scene.

Retour de manivelle / There's Always a Price Tag (Denys de La Patellière, 1957) 8/10

Michèle Morgan plays the classic femme fatale - an icy platinum blonde dressed always in either white or black - in this noir thriller based on the pulp novel by James Hadley Chase. A penniless painter (Daniel Gélin) saves the life of a rich man (Peter van Eyck) who was trying to commit suicide and gets hired as his chauffeuer. His elegant wife (Michèle Morgan) wants him to leave as she is hoping to kill her husband and get the insurance money. Planning to join hands after the two become lovers they are informed by her husband that he plans to kill himself and they have a short time to prove he was murdered as he has changed a clause in the insurance. The rest of the film involves the two trying to figure out how to prove the man was murdered after he actually kills himself. It gets more and more complicated - hiding the dead body, hiring a naive young maid (Michèle Mercier) as an important witness, her seduction, disposal of the body making it look like murder and the appearance of a suspicious and relentless policeman (Bernard Blier). As with all Chase stories there is a delicious sting at the end. All four leads are superb as they circle one another in this cat-and-mouse game of death as the camera tracks them through the house keeping them in its tight claustrophobic grip.

Two Smart People (Jules Dassin, 1946) 5/10

An MGM hybrid - comedy, drama & noir. A crook (John Hodiak) decides to stand trial and go to prison for stealing bonds in the hope he will come out of a five year sentence and enjoy the hidden loot. Accompanying him on the cross country train journey is his cop-friend (Lloyd Nolan) and they are joined by a con artist (Lucille Ball) and a hitman (Elisha Cook Jr.) who both hope to get their hands on the bonds. Enroute they stop over in Texas, Mexico and New Orleans - where they attend the Mardi Gras - and love blossoms between the crook and the con artist who may not be as sincere as she seems. Ball and Hodiak make a good pair but it's all pretty hohum.

Thirteen at Dinner (Lou Antonio, 1985) 5/10

Television adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Lord Edgware Dies" makes the mistake of taking the story out of its original 1930s period setting and transplanting it to London during the 1980s. Hideous fashions, modern colloquial expressions and sentiments are the order of the day. Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) is invited for dinner to the house of an American actress (Faye Dunaway) who is in town to shoot a film. Among the guests are her film co-star (Lee Horsley), her husband's nephew (Bill Nighy) and a woman who looks exactly like the actress (also played by Dunaway). The hostess requests Poirot to speak to her husband, Lord Edgware, to grant her a divorce and jokingly says that she would otherwise be forced to kill her husband. The following day the detective puts the question to her husband who says he had already informed his wife six months before that she could get a divorce. That same night Lord Edgware is murdered followed by the death of the womam who resembled the actress. All the suspects have alibis including the actress who was at a dinner party the night of the murders. A perfect set up for the Belgian detective to ferret out the killer. David Suchet, who would later play Poirot in a long running series to great acclaim, plays the hapless Inspector Japp. Ustinov is his usual delightful self but seems ill at ease in the modern setting while Dunaway, playing to the gallery, overacts unashamedly. Average film could have been much better.

Luka Chuppi (Laxman Utekar, 2019) 4/10

The stars outshine the corny premise they are both trapped in. A couple decide to try a live-in relationship before going in for marriage which results in complications for them. He (Kartik Aaryan) is a middle-class Brahmin reporter working for a local news cable channel in Mathura. She (Kriti Sanon) is the daughter of a rich upper-class Brahmin politician who gets an internship at the news channel. Boy and girl meet cute and she comes up with the idea of the live-in relationship. Spending a work-related month in far off Gwalior they move into a house and pretend to be married to keep local tongues from wagging. The subterfuge goes out the window when their families discover their situation and think both are married. It becomes an ordeal for the two as they desperately try to get married for real but are constantly interuppted by prying family members. Both Aaryan and Sanon struggle to get laughs although both have incredible screen chemistry and make a fine romantic pair. Pity the screenplay and the silly supporting characters keep creating stumbling blocks. Aparshakti Khurana is very good as the couple's Muslim friend who tries to help.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:10 am

Wild Rose (2019) Tom Harper 6/10
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Celine Sciamma 9/10
The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil (2019) Won-Tee Lee 7/10
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Nick Broomfield 7/10
Monrovia, Indiana (2018) Frederick Wiseman 7/10
Toy Story 4 (2019) Josh Cooley 7/10
Joy (2019) Sudabeh Mortezai 7/10
Murder Mystery (2019) Kyle Newacheck 5/10

Repeat viewings

Exodus (1960) Otto Preminger 7/10
Beauty and the Beast (1946) Jean Cocteau 9/10
Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero 7/10
Man's Favourite Sport (1964) Howard Hawks 7/10
Can't Stop the Music (1980) Nancy Walker 5/10

I didn't like Can't Stop the Music back in 1980 - it was a bad film then and it still is but is retro camp makes it a much more pleasurable viewing pleasure decades later, even though I find music is still puerile.
“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 Jun 16, 2019 12:09 pm

One Less God (Lliam Worthington, 2018) 7/10

Islamic terrorists attack Mumbai and create death and destruction. This low budget Australian indie film has a tendency to go over-the-top with melodrama, has a few bad casting choices - the terrorist handler speaks Urdu with a foreign accent which seems totally wrong - but the overall drama hits home with its depiction of relentless terror and horror when the gunmen lay siege to the Taj Palace Hotel. The screenplay focuses on a few composite international and local characters - a young Australian couple recently married, an old Indian man and his grand daughter, a french-jewish journalist, two Turkish teenage siblings, an Australian clergyman, a Chinese businessman, an old British woman shot in the stomach and a British tourist who are all trapped inside the hotel rooms. Compared to the slickly made Hollywood version this comes up short with far too many slow-motion shots, a shaky camera and a bombastic score but still manages to vividly create the harrowing atmosphere while ensuring the terrorists are not portrayed as one dimensional villains - they are shown as fleshed out human beings with needs and doubts simply following what they think is "right". The film also raises questions about the place of religion in the modern world and its impact on society and on us as individuals. The film opens and closes with the joyful Hindu festival of Holi which celebrates life asking the audience to set aside different belief systems and religions which divide us into acting like wild animals towards each other. Killing in the name of religion goes against the teachings of a God who insists on peace, love and harmony. It's human beings who have decided to create havoc for their own selfish needs.

Kalank (Abhishek Varman, 2019) 6/10

Six lives come together in a clash of love, longing, hate, betrayal and jealousy. Karan Johar's latest production harks back to the all-star melodramas of the 1970s along with more than an ode to the excesses of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devdas" (both films share Binod Pradhan, the cinematographer) but with serious defects in the derivative screenplay. The story is set in a fictional town near Lahore during pre-Partition when Muslims and Hindus lived together. The dying daughter-in-law (Sonakshi Sinha) of a rich Chaudhry (Sanjay Dutt), owner of a newspaper, makes a business deal with a poor young Muslim girl (Alia Bhatt). She wants the girl to get married to her husband (Aditya Roy Kapur) after her death and in exchange will provide the dowry for the poor girl's two younger sisters. The deal is agreed upon but the girl insists she marries the woman's husband immediately. When a young blacksmith (Varun Dhawan) falls in love with her it transpires he is the illegitimate son of the Chaudhry and the beautiful and alluring courtesan (Madhuri Dixit) who lives and performs in nearby Heera Mandi, a brothel. The film works itself into a frenzy creating the romantic and exotic past - a world of huge resplendant mansions, a brothel inhabited by beautiful women dressed in exquisite brocades and jewels with crystal chandeleirs adorning the huge ceilings, moonlit nights, sunsets over lakes and the towering Himalayan peaks although there is no known mountain range near Lahore for at least 500 km. We shall also ignore the ridiculous CGI bull that Dhawan wrestles during one scene. The elaborate production numbers are colorful if unimaginative - Kirti Sanon gets to do an item number with Dhawan. But the film, as expected, comes alive when Madhuri Dixit steps on to the dance floor which she rules as to the manor born. Bollywood films take on an extra edge when two superstars confront each other on screen (both Sanjay Dutt & Madhuri Dixit playing former lovers here, and once rumored to be an offscreen item too, reunite on screen after almost 25 years) and here with campy dialogue to boot and a de rigueur slap making the scene not only hilarious but totally paisa vasool. The star cast looks good but both Dutt and Sinha have underwritten parts, Kapur is wooden, Bhatt and Dhawan as the starcrossed lovers have great chemistry and although Dixit looks lovely during her mujrahs and gives the expected great performance her part has no shading - she has done this far too many times in the past and there is nothing new to say. The film is a failure but for fans of such cinema it is time well spent even if it is to gaze at the costumes and jewellery although it all does go on too long.

Assignment in Brittany (Jack Conway, 1943) 6/10

Simplistic but action packed WWII propaganda film that allowed MGM to utilize their french contract star - Jean-Pierre Aumont - in his Hollywood debut playing a Free French Captain. He has to impersonate a Nazi collaborator held by the British and is assigned to return to France to locate a german U-Boat base hidden in a pen in a village. The film depicts the Nazis as buffoons but does not shy away from showing their cruelty when captured resistance members are gunned down including a child. Aumont even manages to romance two women - Susan Peters as a local woman who loves him and Signe Hasso, also making her Hollywood debut, as his mistress who is a Nazi collaborator. Among the supporting cast Margaret Wycherly shines as a plucky old woman. Based on the best selling thriller novel by Helen MacInnes.

Léon Morin, Prêtre / Léon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961) 8/10

Melville moves away from his familiar crime stories and appears to be in a philosophical mood with religion as a backdrop. The lyrical and meandering mood explores faith trying to understand what religion stands for. An atheist (Emmanuele Riva), in a small provincial town occupied by German soldiers during the War, self reflects as a means to understand life and the existence of God. She doesn't appear to be affected by her surroundings or interested in anything as she floats through life. Her jewish daughter is left with friends away from the germans, she observes her office colleagues from afar and is mildly worried about the effects of the on going war. As a joke she confronts a priest (Jean-Paul Belmondo) in the confessional arguing about religion. So starts a fascinating relationship as the two bond together while talking about the importance (for him) of faith and her lack of it. This seemingly boring premise is underlined by a simmering sexual tension between the two as she begins to desire him while a lot of his reserved demeanor suggests that he reciprocates her feelings. She ends up seemingly converted to his thoughts although none of it is exactly made clear. This mostly two-hander film has a witty screenplay as the two playfully banter. She comes across wishy washy not willing to commit to anything in life while he stands firmly on his beliefs, helps others in the community which hints at people who go through life without making any impact. Melville also brings up the topic of French collaboration via the Vichy administration along with French anti-Semitism, topics that were rarely spoken of in films of that era. Both stars, cast against their usual grain, give superb performances. A thoughful film that requires concentration.

The Aftermath (James Kent, 2019) 4/10

Old fashioned rather turgid melodrama about a love triangle set against the spectacular back drop of a bombed out Hamburg just after the War. Unfortunately this genteel story takes on the overtones of a boring soap opera. A British Colonel (Jason Clarke) and his wife (Keira Knightley) are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war construction period. Army personnel requisitioned the homes of the local population who were generally displaced from their houses. The couple move into the countryside villa of a well-off cultured German family - he is an architect (Alexander Skarsgård) living with his teenage daughter and has been recently widowed when his wife died during the bombing. The couple allow the family to continue living in the house, but in the attic, while they take over the lower two luxurious floors. The British couple have an icy relationship since their young son was killed in a bombing raid in London some years before. While her husband is away at work it doesn't take long for the lonely woman to fall into the arms of the equally lonely German widower. The story flits between assorted tangents - a group of pro-Nazi youth trying to cause an uprising against the stationed British army and the widower's troubled young daughter taking up with one of the anarchists - but does not follow through. Instead it concentrates on the three adults and their tension-ridden relationship. In the end it's all rather pointless despite the simmering emotions, a couple of sex scenes thrown into the fray as all three leads act very stiff. The film has outstanding production design and beautiful cinematography capturing the snow laden countryside but needs a bit more bite to the stodgy story to make it interesting. Disappointing film.

Deadlier Than the Male (Ralph Thomas, 1967) 8/10

One of the many spy capers that came in the wake of the "James Bond" films is obviously made on a low budget. Lacking in originality it more than makes up with its lovely Italian Riviera locations and its bevy of beauties of every nationality led by the wooden but very sexy Elke Sommer and statuesque Sylva Koscina dressed in bikinis, slinky gowns and negligees as they both use their charms to trap their victims. Both play extremely deadly assassins who take a perverse delight in gruesome torture, bombings and murder. They work for a master criminal who uses his girls to kill for him. After a series of businessmen are murdered Bulldog Drummond (Richard Johnson), an insurance investigator, tries to solve the mystery and learns that the next target is a Middle Eastern King (Pakistani actor Zia Mohyeddin). The film's megalomaniac villain (Nigel Green), harks back to the best of the old Bond villains - urbane, cultured, witty and psychotic. The witty banter between Richard Johnson and a hilariously campy Nigel Green, as they try to outwit each other while keeping extremely cool, is very funny. And don't miss the huge Asian hulk who is an obvious take-off on Oddjob in the Bond film "Goldfinger". The film got very mixed reviews - this was the 22nd "Bulldog Drummond" film - but it is actually a delightful and extremely colourful surprise and great fun.

Happy Go Lucky (Curtis Bernhardt, 1943) 5/10

Silly but colourful comedy-musical set in Trinidad. A gold-digger (Mary Martin) sets her eyes on a millionaire (Rudy Vallee) and with the help of his down-on-his luck friend (Dick Powell) hopes to get married. It takes voodoo magic and a lot of funny shenanigans from their friends (Eddie Bracken & Betty Hutton) for the right couples to pair off. Sassy Martin and her sexy legs are the film's main attraction.

Vivement dimanche! / Finally Sunday! (François Truffaut, 1983) 8/10

Truffaut's last film is not only an homage to his mentor Alfred Hitchcock but also allows him to work one more time with his offscreen lover Fanny Ardant who is a delightful presence in this lightweight fluff. A real estate agent (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is suspected in the shooting of a man who was once his wife's lover. When his wife is also murdered in their house he hides from the police in his office and his secretary (Fanny Ardant) decides to turn sleuth and find what is going on. Is she in love with her much older employer, a boorish man, who had earlier fired her from her job? Like some of the light weight Hitchcock films this too has moments of unexpected comedy with vivid supporting characters. The film is shot in black and white by the great Nestor Almendros evoking the era of noirs - Ardant spends most of the film wearing a trench coat like Phillip Marlowe. Not a great film by any means but it moves at a brisk pace, has great dialogue, a jaunty score by Georges Delerue and Ardant is a mischevous delight getting really into the thick of things with full abandon.

Classe tous risques / The Big Risk (Claude Sautet, 1960) 9/10

A film about honour, friendship and betrayal. Classic gangster film is a devastating study of thieves, their codes and how with the passage of time and a new world order things change. It is also about hero worship and the promise of hope still alive in some men who will carry on the sacred code of honour. Starkly shot by Ghislain Cloquet this gritty crime thriller has a convicted killer (Lino Ventura) on the lam in Italy. With the police closing in, a wife and two young sons in tow he decides to attempt one last job before trying to cross the border into France. Things go wrong but he and his partner manage to get away and while landing on the beach in Nice they are ambushed by cops and the wife and partner are shot dead. Left with two kids he calls his former partners in Paris to come get him. Instead they send a stranger (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a young crook, to bring him to Paris. The men bond during the road trip with the young man showing great reverence towards the older man. In Paris he realises time has changed things when his friends refuse to help him causing him to re-evaluate his life, find a solution for his children, take a few desperate measures which leads to the film's final devastating image. Lino Ventura,with his sad hang-dog face and silent demeanor hiding a sharp killer instinct, is superb. Belmondo is equally good in a role just before he attained full fledged stardom during the same year in Godard's "Breathless", a film that got all the publicity while this equally brilliant film unfortunately got lost in the shuffle. His character is equally cool here but more laconic - the actor uses the signature cigarette hanging from his lower lip to great effect. Sandra Milo is effective as the girl Belmondo picks up during the road trip. Sautet's film makes an excellent companion piece to Jacques Becker's "Touchez Pas au Grisbi" (1954) and Jean-Pierre Melville's "Bob le Flambeur" (1955) and shares their affection for a middle-aged thief.

The Stranger's Return (King Vidor, 1933) 5/10

A New York based divorcée (Miriam Hopkins) returns to her family farm and attracts the attention of a local farmer (Franchot Tone) with whom she flirts in return. Her cantankerous old grandfather (Lionel Barrymore) dotes on her while her step aunt (Beulah Bondi) is horrified by the gossip in town. When the old man appears to lose his senses the drama comes to a close abruptly with all the plots falling neatly into place. This is Barrymore's film all the way as he goes through his usual shtick while Hopkins bats her eyes winning everyone around. The screenplay stresses the importance of land and the proper family way of life despite glimpses of pre-Code shenanigans.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:37 am

Dirty God (2019) Sacha Polak 7/10
So Long, My Son (2019) Xiaoshuai Wong 7/10
God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya (2019) Teona Strugar Mitevska 6/10
Papi Chulo (2019) John Butler 6/10
Bacurau (2019) Juliano Dornelles & Kleber Mendonça Filho 7/10
Song Without a Name (2019) Melina Leon 4/10
Hearts and Bones (2019) Ben Lawrence 2/10
Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong 10/10
XY Chelsea (2019) Tim Travers Hawkins 6/10
Les Miserables (2019) Ladj Ly 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 Big Magilla » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:25 am

Reza wrote:
Fosse/Verdon (Thomas Kail, Adam Bernstein, Minkie Spiro & Jessica Yu, 2019) 9/10

Dancer, choreographer, director Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) was known for his dazzling style on stage and screen. He was also a serial womanizer and a chain smoking alcohol and drug addict all of which contributed to the edginess evident in his work. Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams) was the greatest dancer on Broadway and a Tony winning star of some of the most famous stage musicals - "Can-Can", "Damn Yankees" and "New Girl in Town". The musical "Redhead" brought the two together with Verdon as star and Fosse in his debut as director and choreographer. They married soon after and their tenuous relationship forms the basis of this outstanding screen biography as the film charts their careers and relationship which produced one daughter, numerous infidelities on his part and further stage successes like "Sweet Charity", "Chicago" and "Dancin'", the latter two were collaborated on while they were estranged - they never divorced and remained married while she took up with another partner and he with stage actress Ann Reinking with whom even Verdon joined hands with on stage projects. Fosse's independant film career was also a huge success starting with the flop adaptation of "Sweet Charity", for which Verdon was overlooked and Shirley MacLaine cast instead. His next film "Cabaret" brought him an Oscar for his direction followed by two more nominations for "Lenny" and "All That Jazz". The film is dazzlingly edited as their story is presented in a non-linear way with flasbacks and forwards as they interact with friends, spouses and lovers - Joan McCracken, Neil & Joan Simon, Paddy Chayefsky, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Hal Prince, George Abbott, Cy Feuer and Ben Vereen. For theatre and movie buffs this film is a marvel as it recreates memorable moments from stage and screen triumphs. Both Rockwell and Williams give career high performances capturing the true essence and genius of both individuals. A must-see.

Finally caught up with this, having binge-watched all 8 hours of it last night.

I thought Williams was great, Rockwell good, the actors playing other famous people OK. I also found most of it accurate. I had thought it odd that it showed Fosse as having won his Tonys for Pippin before his Oscar for Cabaret, but that's what did happen. The Tonys were Sunday March 25, 1973. The Oscars were two days later.

The one glaring inaccuracy is, of course, Verdon's live-in boyfriend during the 1970s, named "Ron" in the show. He was really Jerry Lanning, the son of singer-actress Roberta Sherwood, who had already had some standout roles on TV. He made his Broadway debut as the older Patrick Dennis to Angela Lansbury's Mame the same Broadway season Verdon starred in Sweet Charity. He was 18 years younger than her, the same age as Verdon's son from her first marriage. Verdon was the same age as Lansbury. Not sure if they met then, but both were part of the that year's theatre awards season - he won a Theatre World award. She was nominated for a Tony but lost to Lansbury.

In the show, she mentions meeting "Ron" at a function that had something to do with Damn Yankees. In actuality, Lanning starred as Joe Hardy to Lee Remick's Lola and Phil Silvers' devil in a TV version broadcast in April, 1967 so it's quite possible they met during rehearsals. He did not move in with her until after she and Fosse split in 1971. While she was in Chicago during the 1975-1976 season, he was also on Broadway playing Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the first Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. He was last on Broadway in the 1997-1998 revival of 1776 and on TV in an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent in 2001.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:23 am

Okri wrote:
Need details now. Were you a fan of The Babadook?


Yes, I enjoyed The Babodook, even more the second time I watched it later in the year.

The Nightingale is a complete departure for Jennifer Kent - worlds away from The Babadook. Like The Babadook it's an original story written by Jennifer Kent, except this time within an accurate historical context, namely the abuse of convicts and indigenous people in Van Diemen's Land (now known as Tasmania) in 1825. The characters and events are fictional but the tone and nature characters are true to the period and on its surface the film is a classic revenge drama.

However, it would have to be probably one of the most harrowing films I have ever sat through. Violent in the extreme and with a number of sexually violent scenes in the mix as well, though generally because of the way that Kent has edited the film I felt like I saw more than I actually did. I don't think the film fell into the gratuitous category myself, however audience reaction has been somewhat mixed (walk outs including some rather vocal ones at that).

Its beautifully shot in 1:33:1, edited to perfection with excellent use of sound.

However, despite my 10/10 rating I cannot recommend it without explicit warning that the film is a very tough unrelenting 136 minutes. It is at the centre though a film that is ultimately about love and empathy, as well as non sugar coated look at the past history of what was to become Australia that is barely ever mentioned - the utter brutality of colonalism.
“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 Okri » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:49 pm

Precious Doll wrote:Our Time (2018) Carlos Reygadas 6/10
Apollo 11 (2019) Todd Douglas Miller 4/10
Untouchable (2019) Ursula Mafarlene 7/10
The Nightingale (2019) Jennifer Kent 10/10
Monos (2019) Alejandro Landes 6/10
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018) Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky & Nicholas de Pencier 6/10
The Whistlers (2019) Corneliu Porumbolu 6/10
Synonymes (2019) Nadav Lapid 7/10
Yuli (2018) Iciar Bollain 7/10
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao (2019) Karim Ainouz 9/10


Need details now. Were you a fan of The Babadook?

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

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:43 am

Our Time (2018) Carlos Reygadas 6/10
Apollo 11 (2019) Todd Douglas Miller 4/10
Untouchable (2019) Ursula Mafarlene 7/10
The Nightingale (2019) Jennifer Kent 10/10
Monos (2019) Alejandro Landes 6/10
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018) Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky & Nicholas de Pencier 6/10
The Whistlers (2019) Corneliu Porumbolu 6/10
Synonymes (2019) Nadav Lapid 7/10
Yuli (2018) Iciar Bollain 7/10
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao (2019) Karim Ainouz 9/10
“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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