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 Feb 09, 2020 1:07 am

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz 6/10
Othello (1956) Sergei Yutkevich 4/10
Bait (2019) Mark Jenkins 8/10
Man in an Orange Shirt (2017) Michael Samuels 6/10
Daniel Isn't Real (2019) Adam Egypt Mortimer 2/10
Slam (2019) Partlo Sen-Gupta 4/10

Repeat viewings

Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) Bryan Forbes 10/10
Ordet (1955) Carl Theodor Dreyer 10/10
Pain and Glory (2019) Pedo Almodovar 8/10
Parasite (2019) Bong Joon Ho 10/10
Winter Kills (1979) William Richert 9/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Reza » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:55 am

Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019) 5/10

Legal drama is based on a true story and even though it covers familiar ground that sadly shows no sign of changing in the United States it remains an important subject to be repeated on screen. The law leaning towards injustice via bigotry is a subject that Hollywood has portrayed on film numerous times. I was actually surprised that the case depicted here took place as recent as 1989 and shocked that there are still vicious human beasts in states like Alabama who still "gnash their teeth" in unacceptance towards colored people. A rookie Harvard lawyer (Michael B. Jordan) moves to his home state of Alabama to help the underprivleged. He takes on the case of an African-American pulpwood worker (Jamie Foxx) who has been sentenced to death for the murder of a white girl. Discovering that the poor man has been convicted on false evidence and testimony he decides to prove this in court in order to free him. By-the-numbers plot has the underdog succeeding after going through hell with the law and especially after facing serious threats from the bigoted townfolk. Well acted film lacks the punch to make it rise above the ordinary and on to something great.

Cats (Tom Hooper, 2019) 1/10

Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical, based on poetry by T. S. Eliot, ran for 21 years in London and for 18 years on Broadway and needless to say made big bucks all around the world. But WHY? I didn't get it at all. Were audiences fascinated by actors prancing on stage dressed as cats? Were little children the main audience? The score did nothing for me. Yes, there's the memorable "Memory", the big hit song subsequently covered by many famous singers - Streisand's version was the best. So we get dancing cats (and cockroaches during one musical number) on the streets and inside homes of London as they - the tribe of cats called Jellicles - come together at the annual Jellicle ball to decide which of them will ascend to Heaviside Layer (the cat's version of heaven) to be reborn into a new life. I personally found the entire project to be a chore to sit through but I'm surprised why this film bombed at the boxoffice. Why didn't all those millions of people who watched it on stage come to watch it in the cinema? Surely it is no different to what appeared on stage - the actors' faces are digitally placed on furry bodies - although there are often jarring moments where the cats' proportions are all wrong with respect to their surrounding environment. Sometimes they go from appearing tiny to giant-size within the same scene. Plotless film is more like a revue of thinly connected boring musical numbers. An eclectic cast gives it a shot - James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Taylor Swift (who sings an original Lloyd Webber song), Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and Jennifer Hudson who sings "Memory" and totally massacres it. So the one moment I was looking forward to was also fucked up. Terrible film that should have just remained a memory on stage.

Mark of the Renegade (Hugo Fregonese, 1951) 7/10

Old fashioned swashbuckler allows dashing Montalban to bare his chest in one of his early lead roles in Hollywood. After three previous teamings with lovely Cyd Charisse as second leads performing electrifying dance duets in musicals they finally get to co-star as leads. A renegade Mexican (Ricardo Montalban) is blackmailed by a scoundrel (Gilbert Roland) to help usurp his rival (Antonio Moreno) for the seat of power in 19th century California. Slapdash action with comedic asides (courtesy of J. Carroll Naish & George Tobias) has Montalban a worthy sword fencing successor to the likes of John Barrymore, Ramon Novarro, Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power as he fights for a cause and romances lovely Cyd Charisse. Their erotic dance together is the film's highliflght. Great fun.

The Mandalorian (Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard & Taika Waititi, 2019) Season 1 6/10

"Star Wars" will never die as George Lucas' epic franchise gets another push with this 8-part series set in-between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order. Despite all the Sci-fi paraphernalia on display - hurtling spaceships, alien creatures, vicious beasts - the story channels any number of old fashioned Westerns. A bounty hunter, known as the Mangalorian, is asked to bring in a bounty which turns out to be a tiny baby - 50-year old Yoda. When he realises that the baby is going to be put through scientific experiments he rescues it and runs off chased by assorted nefarious types. Each episode has the hunter facing off different predators while keeping baby Yoda safe. Slick series is yet another means to milk yet more money through facelifting old wine and serving it in new bottles for the young generation and of course the contingent of old fan boys out there.

Wild Rose (Tom Harper, 2019) 6/10

The contrived plot - abrasive young woman, a recently paroled convict, dreams of becoming a Country singer - gets a massive boost by talented newcomer Jessica Buckley who gives an assured complex performance. In addition the film's Glaswegian setting makes it a quirky delight giving the story a fresh outlook. Rose (Jessie Buckley) is a foul-mouthed, free spirited working class girl with two young kids looked after by her sensible but exasperated mother (the wonderful Julie Walters) with whom she constantly clashes over her dreams of becoming a Country singer in Nashville. The fairy tale does not quite come true although her life-journey involves a lot of soul searching along with convenient help from the lady (Sophie Okonedo) at whose house she works as a maid. The fantastic soundtrack of country songs (sung by Buckley) give the film a special lift.

Missing (Mukul Abhyanker, 2018) 3/10

The premise of the film is good - a couple (Manoj Bajpayee & Tabu) and their unwell 3-year old daughter check into a beach resort in Mauritius. The following morning the child disappears from their room leaving the distraught parents running from pillar to post trying to look for her. What is shocking about the film is that the two leads, both known for their award winning performances and being the best part of every film during their long and distinguished careers, are so awful here. Bajpayee is especially a disgrace giving an amateurish performance. They are both not helped by the terrible screenplay and cheesy dialogue which is often unintentionally funny. The direction seems virtually non-existent as both actors flounder unconvincingly as the plot keeps changing direction every 15-minutes or so with the actors seemingly making up the plot as they go along. The silly red herrings scattered throughout become more and more absurd followed by at least four twists in the plot each more ridiculous than the one that came before. The supporting cast - playing hotel staff, guests and assorted cops - are just as bad if not worse, than the two leads.

Dolor y gloria / Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019) 8/10

An elegiac look at the past with moving vignette's forming glimpses into the life of Almodóvar. The film takes on a restrained template compared to the director's previous films and is acted to perfection by his usual stable of actors. It is fitting that his muse, Antonio Banderas, gets to participate in what proves to be the director's most personal films as he delves philosophically into several important relationships. A once famous director (Antonio Banderas), now in decline and suffering from pill and heroin addiction along with various other medical issues, wrestles with the past as his mind wanders. His poverty stricken childhood with a strong and loving mother (Penelope Cruz) who encouraged him to read and write, his childhood sexual awakening, a reunion with an actor and close friend he hasn't spoken to in 30-years, a poignant encounter with a former lover full of wistful flirtation, visits to the doctor with his worried assistant (Cecilia Roth) and his last few moments with his dying mother (Julieta Serrano) where they both attempt to make peace over life's unfulfilled expectations. This is Banderas' finest hour on screen as the actor found the role cathartic coming soon after a serious health scare. Almodóvar has claimed most of his early life depicted here along with the drug fueled moments are fictional but his screenplay touches on various emotions that cannot help to be more than mere fiction. Banderas won an acting prize at the Cannes film festival and was nominated for an Oscar as was the film itself. Deeply felt film is one of the year's best.

The Divorcée (Robert Z. Leonard, 1930) 5/10

Early pre-code talkie, based on the scandalous bestseller "Ex-Wife", was then considered revolutionary with its frank views on female sexuality and the sexual double standard amongst the "in-crowd" of New York high society. A happily married woman (Norma Shearer) discovers on her third wedding anniversary that her husband (Chester Morris) has cheated on her. When she confronts him he admits to the affair but is blase about it saying it didn't mean anything to him. So she decides to also have a fling and takes up with her husband's close friend (Robert Montgomery). Upon discovering his wife's infidelity he divorces her. She finds temporary solace with another friend (Conrad Nagel) who has always loved her but she can't forget her husband.
The role changed the screen image of Norma Shearer who was one of the top stars at MGM and married to the boss producer Irving Thalberg. The film's success (and help from her husband) allowed her to follow with a string of very high profile projects on screen through most of the 1930s. Sadly she is totally forgotten today but the film is a reminder of her vivacious if rather artificial on-screen personality, her great beauty and her memorable speaking voice which helped her make a smooth transition from silent films. As in most early talkies the camera is totally static with the actors moving as little as possible in order to remain within range of the sound microphones. Historically important film seems terribly dated now but was a huge hit for the studio, won an Oscar for Shearer and nominations for the film, the director and the screenplay.

Harriet (Kasi Lemmons, 2019) 6/10

Formulaic, sentimental but interesting film from the historical perspective with the title character seemingly straight out of the pages of the Bible - she has visions, speaks to God and miracles seem to happen as she goes along on her ferociously driven duty of helping slaves escape. In 1840s Maryland a slave called Minty (Cynthia Erivo) makes a run from her cruel masters and walks 100 miles to her freedom in Philadelphia. Ever since she was hit in the head by an object during childhood she has "spells" during which she gets visions and talks to God. It puts her in good stead when she decides to become an abolishionist (calling herself Harriet Tubman) and keeps returning to her homestead to systematically help other slaves to escape. This soon brings financial ruin to many once prosperous white farms compelling white men to capture the mysterious "Moses", the name given to the person who is helping the slaves. English singer and songwriter Cynthia Erivo gives a strong performance as the driven woman who makes it her mission in life to help as many black people she can. She gets a lot of help from the gorgeous camerawork of John Toll and the symphonic score by Terence Blanchard as she runs across picturesque fields falling into and wading across rivers. The simplistic but effective screenplay gives the story the sense of an action thriller combined with elements of the Bible and of the Western genre. It is all held together by Erivo's impassioned performance who brings this historical black character to life. The Academy, in it's now annual bid for diversity (and to look good of course), nominated her for an Oscar.

How to Train Your Dragon (Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders, 2010) 7/10

A Viking village is beset with hordes of dragons the villagers have to battle in order to save their livestock. The Viking Chief's hapless clumsy son manages to shoot down the mysterious Night Flight dragon and befriends it. Realising that the dragons are only attacking to feed a giant monster it becomes a battle of wits for the boy and his new-found friend to save the village and all the dragons from the vile fire-breathing giant beast (since this is a DreamWorks production the giant dragon resembles a flying T-Rex). Charming film has humour and exhilarating flying sequences as the dragon swoops through the air with the boy riding on its back. Nominated for two Oscars - best animated film and the music score by John Powell.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:28 pm

The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1967) Pietro Germi 7/10
Museum (2018) Alonso Ruizpalocios 6/10
A Hidden Life (2019) Terrence Malick 4/10
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2019) Xavier Dolan 5/10
The Golden Glove (2019) Fatih Akin 5/10
Uncut Gems (2019) Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie 7/10

Repeat viewings

Quintet (1979) Robert Altman 7/10
Contagion (2011) Steven Soderbergh 8/10
The Rose (1979) Mary Rydell 8/10
La Jetée (1962) Chris Marker 9/10
Sunless (1983) Chris Marker 9/10
Full Moon in Paris (1984) Eric Rohmer 9/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:57 pm

1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019) 8/10

The film's simple premise is presented via a bravura technique whereby cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor Lee Smith use very long takes to have the entire film appear as one continuous shot. The "gimmick" allows the audience to experience the action on the battlefield just like the characters on screen. During WWI two young British soldiers are sent on a suicidal mission across German lines to stop a British military unit from attacking and walking straight into a trap set for them by the enemy. Time is of the essence and the journey is fraught with danger. Mendes never lets up as he creates spectacular set pieces through which the two young men blindly stumble through fully aware that they could be picked off at anytime by the enemy snipers. Both actors - George MacKay & Dean-Charles Chapman - as the young soldiers give moving performances with their eyes betraying fear at every step trudging through trenches and bunkers, avoiding huge craters filled with filthy water and dead bodies of soldiers, walking fully exposed across vast fields and through bombed out towns and through a raging river. The film's outstanding production design - the terrain of trenches, burning towns - is created with exceptional detail and enhanced by the camerawork of Roger Deakins. The film easily ranks with some of the best war films of all time and provides a rare glimpse into the kind of warfare that no longer exists. Mendes shoots the film like a thriller providing a fresh gravitas to the age-old war formula. Having two unknown actors was an inspired choice as star power does not come in the way of the mission at hand as the two characters blend into the action which is the foremost element of the plot. There are small but vivid parts for Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Richard Madden playing senior officers. My only quibble with the film is that it begins to drag during the middle - the sequence with the woman and baby could have been omitted - but overall it is an audacious undertaking by a director who should make films more often. Nominated for 10 Oscars it is the frontrunner to win the top prize unless there is a last minute upset by the Tarantino film or the even more audacious South Korean nominee. The film is a must-see.

Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947) 10/10

The specatcular Himalayan location, Sabu as an Indian prince, a ravishing 18-year old Jean Simmons as a saucy Indian wench with a nose ring, an old batty ayah, five Anglo-Catholic nuns and David Faraar dressed in tiny shorts exposing his legs combine to form the plot of this delirious tale about simmering sexual tension. A young Sister Superior (Deborah Kerr) is given the daunting task of accompanying four nuns from Calcutta to set up a school and infirmary in a ramshackle old building on the edge of a cliff in the far-off Himalayas. The heady mountain atmosphere, the forbidding foreign culture, the past history of their new convent having once been a harem and the arrival of the local General's British agent (David Faraar) put the nuns on edge challenging their religious vows. The presence of the virile man and his conversations, dripping with sexual innuendo, greatly flusters the nuns. While it brings back unwanted memories of a failed affair for the Sister Superior it has a violent effect on Sister Ruth (the superb Kathleen Byron) who goes into a sexual frenzy as if possessed, ripping off her habit, wildly smearing lipstick, coming on to the visiting Agent and feeling extreme jealousy towards her Superior. The film earns its place as a landmark Technicolor production with Jack Cardiff's stunning cinematography rightfully earning raves and an Oscar. This is one of the most beautiful films ever made with each shot dazzling as it captures through exquisite lighting one stunning image after another of the exotic location where the story is set. What is even more amazing is that director Powell shot the entire film in the studio in England using matte effects and model work to create the sets. Deborah Kerr's magnificent performance was the breakout which helped her become a star in Hollywood. Along with an Oscar for its cinematography the film also won for its production design. Stunning film should be seen on the big screen.

Manto (Nandita Das, 2018) 6/10

Atmospheric film covers the tortured, poverty stricken and alcohol-ridden life of writer Sadat Hassan Manto from his early days in India to his life in Pakistan after migration. The short story writer spent most of his short life (he lived only 42 years) fighting obscenity charges against his works (among many bold subjects he also tackled rape and lesbianism) which had the unique ability to hold a mirror to the society which made people highly uncomfortable. This troubled artist is brought hauntingly to life by Nawazuddin Siddiqui who gets totally immersed in the character. Unfortunately the screenplay fails to explore any of the important characters surrounding Manto and comes up short against the Pakistani film version (also called "Manto") made by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat in 2015. That version managed to provide a well rounded view about his life and interspersed it with moments from most of his memorable short stories.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:50 pm

Bombshell (2019) Jay Roach 5/10
The Mend (2014) John Magary 4/10
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) Joachim Rønning 2/10
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019) Marielle Heller 4/10

Repeat viewings

Short Cuts (1993) Robert Altman 9/10
Senso (1954) Luchino Visconti 8/10
Victor/Victoria (1982) Blake Edwards 8/10
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Werner Herzog 7/10
The Keep (1983) Michael Mann 8/10
Jesse James (1939) Henry King 7/10
My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (1987) Eric Rohmer 8/10
Next Stop Greenwich Village (1976) Paul Mazursky 7/10
The Return of Frank James (1940) Fritz Lang 7/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Reza » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:17 am

Bombshell (Jay Roach, 2019) 6/10

The Fox News girls - senior anchors Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) - blow the whistle on Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), the chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations, calling him out on sexual harassment charges. They were joined by numerous other women who all came out against Ailes forcing Rupert Murdoch (Malcolm McDowell), co-creator of Fox, to fire him. The film comes on the heels of the tv version about the case - " The Loudest Whisper" - with Russell Crowe as Ailes, and is one of the first major films out of Hollywood that deal with the #metoo movement that started after producer Harvey Feinstein was called out by numerous actresses and charged with rape and harassment. The performances get a great deal of help from lots of makeup - prosthetics are used on Theron's face to resemble Kelly while Lithgow is completely transformed to look like the grotequely fat Ailes. Margot Robbie, playing composite character Kayla Pospisil, gives the film's best performance especially during two dramatic scenes - the humiliating and cringeworthy moment where Ailes demands she lift her skirt bit by bit until her panties are exposed and later during a scene talking to her friend on a telephone where she breaks down while confessing she had sex with Ailes in return for an anchor spot. The latter moment rivals the famous "telephone scene" that brought Luise Rainer her first Oscar in 1936 for "The Great Ziegfeld". The screenplay flits restlessly from character to character without letting any one get enough screen time although Theron, as the film's lead, gets more of an arc. Both Theron and Robbie received Oscar nominations as did the film's makeup.

Dark Waters (Todd Haynes, 2019) 7/10

Factual docudrama, shot like a thriller isn't just an attack on corporate greed but is also a frightning exposé of environmental pollution. The story has strong echoes of such films from the past like "Z", "All the President's Men", "Norma Rae", "Silkwood" and "Erin Brockovich" wherein underdogs take on the government or large corporations and expose cover-ups that have resulted in harm to the public. The screenplay, based on the New York Times Magazine article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare”, has a corporate lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) take on the most powerful American chemical company after a farmer from his hometown shows him the result of the company dumping chemicals in a stream near his farm - 180 cows dead from tumors. Despite DuPont being his law firm's biggest client he decides to investigate and sues them on behalf of the effected local residents who are shown to be suffering from various diseases including cancer. Ruffalo is joined by a superb group of actors - Anne Hathaway as his supportive but worried wife, Tim Robbins as his smooth boss, Victor Garber as the reptilian chief executive at DuPont and Bill Camp as the hapless old farmer. The scary part is that "Teflon" - a man-made chemical used as a non-reactive, nonstick surface on frying pans and as a coating on wires - is now in the bloodstream of 99% of life on earth and there are still thousands of chemicals which are still unregulated and in continuous use all over the world.

Last Christmas (Paul Feig, 2019) 1/10

A romantic comedy set in a tinsel covered London that has not an iota of romance or comedy. However, what it does have is a lousy screenplay (courtesy of Emma Thompson & Greg Wise) with unappealing characters shouting out their lines. Slovenly Kate (Emilia Clarke), wannabee singer and total fuck-up, works as an elf in a store stuffed with Christmas themed trinkets owned by a grouchy old lady (Michelle Yeoh) who has a heart of gold. Thrown out of numerous friends' homes she has nowhere to go except her immigrant parents' home. Mom (Emma Thompson) is overbearing and speaks with a Slavic accent, Dad is depressed and downtrodden and Sister is a shrill-voiced closeted lesbian. Into her life comes the mysterious and dapper Tom (Henry Golding) who shows empathy for the disaster prone girl although nothing much happens between the two. The film, peppered with songs on the soundtrack by George Michael, has all the ingredients for a perfect rom-com but nothing works. It all seems forced with every scene falling flat. None of the jokes raise a laugh and the chemistry between the lead actors is non-existent. Even the twist at the end seems contrived. A missed opportunity. Henry Goulding, so good in "Crazy Rich Asians", deserves better.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:23 am

Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019) 8/10

Sumptuous adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel was a passion project for Greta Gerwig who also adapted it for the screen. For the first time this oft filmed story is told out of sequence as Gerwig's astute screenplay uses the flashback device going continuously back and forth from the present to the past. The story has always been front and center about Jo March (Saoirse Ronan), aspiring writer and spirited tomboy, but Gerwig here ensures that the other three March sisters are also captured on camera with a complete arc - sensible older sister Meg (Emma Watson) who gets married, selfish and spoilt Amy (Florence Pugh), jealous and constantly at odds with Jo and tragic Beth (Eliza Scanlen) the youngest. The girls live with their mother - Marmee (Laura Dern) - while their father is away with the army during the Civil War. Gerwig's detailed screenplay covers all the memorable moments from the novel as the girls interact with their rich and formidable Aunt March (Meryl Streep), Laurie (Timothée Chalamet), the boy next door, his grandfather (Chris Cooper), a tutor (James Norton) and a Professor (Louis Garrel). All these characters pivot around Jo whose coming-of-age as a woman and writer is the main crux of the story. This deeply felt film celebrates the strong bond of family with an emphasis on love and empathy. It is also an inspired choice to film many scenes outdoors using different Massachusetts locations. Superbly acted film with standout performances by Ronan, Chalamet and especially Pugh. Nominated for 6 Oscars - Best film, Ronan, Pugh, Gerwig's screenplay and the film's score and costume design.

Little Women (Gillian Armstrong, 1994) 6/10

The third big-screen adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel is the first to be directed by a woman - Gillian Armstrong - who brings a feminist spin to the story. The film, as in the novel, is narrated by Jo March (Winona Ryder) who lovingly describes growing up in post-Civil War America with her three siblings - older sister Meg (Trini Alvarado) and two younger sisters Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst/Samantha Mathis). While their father is away in the army the girls live with their beloved feminist mother (Susan Sarandon) who encourages her daughters to develop their intellect, humor and moral courage. Armstrong shows via glowing moments the family's trials and tribulations - friendship with the rich boy (Christian Bale) next door which results in pangs of unrequited love, Meg's marriage to an impoverished tutor (Eric Stoltz), Jo's attempts at being a budding writer and move to New York and her acquaintance with a German Professor (Gabriel Byrne), Beth's interest in music and her tragic illness, spoilt Amy's petty jealousies and her life away from home with their bossy, opinionated and rich Aunt March (Mary Wickes) in the hope of finding a rich husband in Paris. The story is a series of vignettes about their hopes, their beliefs and their dreams which don't quite fall into place as planned. The screenplay raises the question of women negotiating society's idea of marriage and their own desire for something more personal and fulfilling. Both Susan Sarandon and a winsome Winona Ryder stand out in the large cast. The film won Oscar nominations for Ryder, Thomas Newman's lovely music score and for the costume design.

Little Women (Mervyn LeRoy, 1949) 5/10

Glossy MGM version of the Louisa May Alcott novel with the character of feisty Jo March front and center and her sisters almost relegated to the sidelines. June Allyson is too old at 31 for the part of 15-year old Jo March but as star at the studio she got the plumb part in this remake. The studio's up and coming starlets get to play sensible older sister Meg (Janet Leigh who was 10 years younger than Allyson) and pretentious Amy (a blonde very mature looking Elizabeth Taylor at age 17) while timid Beth is played by child-star Margaret O'Brien. Straightforward adaptation briskly runs through the book's memorable moments as the four March sisters find their place in the world. The story is an ode to family life on the homefront during the Civil War as the four sisters, living with their mother (Mary Astor who was only 11-years older than Allyson) - dad (Leon Ames) is away fighting the war - experience life's pleasures (love & friendship) and difficulties (petty jealousies and tragedy). MGM went all out with the film's supporting cast from its stable of stars old and new - Lucille Watson as rich and shrill Aunt March, Sir C. Aubrey Smith as a wealthy neighbor, Peter Lawford as Laurie the story's main love interest, Rosanno Brazzi (in his Hollywood debut) as Jo's professor friend, Connie Gilchrist, Elizabeth Patterson, Harry Davenport and Ellen Corby. The film, a huge hit for MGM, won an Oscar for Art Direction and a nomination for its colour cinematography.

Little Women (George Cukor, 1933) 9/10

This classic adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel was long considered to be the definitive screen version until the recent one by Greta Gerwig. It also has Katharine Hepburn's celebrated interpretation of Jo March right at the start of her long and illustrious career - she won an Oscar that year but strangely it was for a lesser film - "Morning Glory". Cukor does a fine job bringing to the screen the lives of the four March sisters - sensible Meg (Frances Dee), tomboy Jo (Katharine Hepburn), shy Beth (Jean Parker) and selfish and vain Amy (Joan Bennett) - who live in reduced circumstances with their beloved Marmee (Spring Byington) during the Civil War. The plot covers their hopes, joys and tragedies with Alcott's alter-ego - Jo March - presented with a strong feminist bent, one who shuns marriage and earns money for the family by writing short stories. All the book's memorable characters are brought vividly to life - haughty Aunt March (Edna May Oliver), the rich neighbor Mr Lawrence (Henry Stephenson), his grandson Laurie (Douglas Montgomery) who catches the eye of two March sisters, the tutor Brooke (John Lodge) who marries Meg and the German Professor Bhaer (Paul Lukas) who forms a friendship with Jo. The film is evocative in its New England reconstruction with a moving screenplay perfectly capturing the Victorian strengths of Alcott's novel. It was nominated for 3 Oscars - Best Picture, for Cukor's direction and for the screenplay, which it won.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:19 am

Reza wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:1917 (2029) Sam Mendes 5/10
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Dean DeBlois 4/10
Missing Link (2019) Christ Butler 4/10
Klaus (2019) Sergio Pablos & Carlos Martinez Lopez 4/10


:lol:


A very tiresome process. I was looking forward to 1917 and apart from the technical marvel there was so little so it.

And though I can't say that any of those Oscar nominated animated films above impressed me they were easier to sit through than Avengers: Endgame which I watched the week before given that it was without a doubt going to get at least one or more technical nominations.

On Tuesday Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 'drops' so I have that to look forward to :lol:
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:11 am

Precious Doll wrote:1917 (2029) Sam Mendes 5/10
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Dean DeBlois 4/10
Missing Link (2019) Christ Butler 4/10
Klaus (2019) Sergio Pablos & Carlos Martinez Lopez 4/10


:lol:

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:08 am

England Made Me (Peter Duffell, 1973) 8/10

Graham Greene's novel, set in Sweden, comes to the screen transposed to 1935 Nazi Germany and filmed in Yugoslavia. A ne’er-do-well Englishman (Michael York) gets involved, via his twin sister (Hildegard Neill), with her lover - a ruthless German businessman (an intense Peter Finch) who is masterminding a scam on the stock exchange. While he has no love for the Nazis he uses their dirty tactics to fuel his greed. The story is a well-observed evocation of time, place and mood with two outstanding performances - Michael Hordern as a seedy journalist and Joss Ackland as an executioner.

The Intruder (Guy Hamilton, 1953) 6/10

Almost a memory piece as flashbacks reveal the good life in the army during the war while the present has not been good for some. A retired Colonel (Jack Hawkins in fine form) returns to his posh house in Belgravia to find it being burgled by a young man (Michael Medwin) who holds a gun at him. With a shock he recognises the man who was part of his tank regiment during the war. When he runs off the Colonel visits other members of his unit in order to find him and provide help. The screenplay deals with post-Second World War angst, bravery in war, difficulties in peace as we get to meet via flashbacks different class-ridden "types" played by a superb group of character actors - the simple cockney (George Cole), the slimeball (Dennis Price), a floozie (Susan Shaw) and the upright soldier (Hugh Williams). The film has some striking location shots of 1950s Britain.

The First Wives Club (Hugh Wilson, 1996) 5/10

The three stars are way better than the material they are stuck in. A hit at the boxoffice the film is an ode to the perseverance of women who get dumped by their husbands after years of marriage. When a depressed socialite (Stockard Channing) commits suicide her three college friends reunite after 20 years. All three are going through relationship issues. Elise (Goldie Hawn), an aging botoxed actress, is being sued for alimony by her producer husband (Victor Garber) who has left her for a younger woman (Elizabeth Berkeley). Brenda (Bette Midler) and her son are left to fend for themselves by her husband (Dan Hedaya), a rich electronics merchant who is shacked up with a greedy bimbo (Sarah Jessica Parker). Annie (Diane Keaton), a wimpy doormat, deludes herself that she will reconcile with her husband (Stephen Collins) who is actually having an affair with her therapist (Marcia Gay Harden). Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned so all three decide to take revenge. Farcical comedy is totally predictable but manages a few bitchy laugh-out-loud zingers. All three stars are at the top of their comic game and get able support from a great group of character actors in bit parts - Eileen Heckart as Keaton's brittle mom, Rob Reiner as Hawn's plastic surgeon, Maggie Smith as a gossip columnist and Bronson Pinchot as a decorator. Fitfully amusing.

The Small Voice (Fergus McDonell, 1948) 7/10

American musical star Howard Keel made his film debut in this taut little British thriller. An embittered but successful playwright (James Donald) and his actress wife (Valerie Hobson), contemplating divorce, come upon a car wreck while driving to their isolated country home. They take two of the injured men home and are later joined by a third man (Howard Keel) and two children. It transpires that the three men are on the run from prison with the police in pursuit and the children are survivors of a car crash whom the men found. Tension mounts when one child falls sick and the vicious and unrepentent criminal refuses to allow a doctor to be called. The plucky actress tries to get help and ends up butting heads with the criminal hoping to prick his conscience - "the silent voice" - into doing the right thing by saving the child's life. Keel is superb as the sneering tough guy and lovely Hobson matches him every step of the way as she tries to reason with him while trying to hold her crumbling marriage together. This atmospheric, briskly paced suspense drama was the second of two successful films produced by Anthony Havelock-Allan starring his then wife Valerie Hobson.

Underwater (William Eubank, 2020) 6/10

Slick sci-fi horror-thriller regurgitates by-the-number tropes of the genre harking back to far better films. It does have it's moments though especially a fantastic opening, a great physical performance by Kristen Stewart and a fairly nerve wracking finale. The film's mid-section almost grinds the film to a hault via its repetitive scenes and murky underwater photography where it's difficult to see what is going on. The plot is very familiar. A group of research scientists fight for survival when their almost 7-mile deep ocean floor laboratory begins to cave in. Was it an earthquake or is there some giant disturbed creature striking back? As the film does not have a huge budget the cast is small - plucky mechanical engineer (Kristen Stewart) and grizzled captain (Vincent Cassel) lead a group of five survivors - diversity be damned as the lone black character is the first to meet his maker - through claustrophobic spaces as gory jump-scares permeate the screenplay. Familiar memories of "The Abyss" and the "Alien" franchise are starkly evoked complete with Stewart stripped down to her underwear â la Ripley. During the scenes where the group has to make a mad dash through murky sea water on the ocean floor the director adds tension by shooting Stewart in extreme close-up by putting the camera into her helmet and showing her face from the side with her eyes conveying a feeling of total entrapment. What was most refreshing to see is Stewart trying out every kind of part available out there - from big budget Hollywood films to small indie features to European cinema to now an action thriller. This is strictly a B-film with some good jump scares sandwiched between a few too many slow stretches.

Flawless (Michael Radford, 2007) 6/10

Old fashioned heist story is set in 1960s London. With Michael Caine in the lead (the part was created for him) it evokes memories of his cat burglar in "Gambit" and other similar films like "Topkapi" and "How to Sreal a Million". An old janitor (Michael Caine) entices a prim and disgruntled executive (Demi Moore) to join him in stealing diamonds from their workplace where she is a senior member of the management team. Fast paced film relies on the chemistry between the two stars - Caine appears to be having a ball playing this old codger while it was sort of a comeback for Moore. She looks stunning in 1960s fashion as the two navigate through the suspense filled heist. Joss Ackland, speaking with an Afrikaner accent, is memorable as her intimidating boss.

Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968) 9/10

First in a long series of films in the "Apes" franchise both on the big and small screen followed decades later by a remake after which came a reboot and its sequels. Fascinating sci-fi premise, based on a book by Pierre Boule, creates a planet that looks suspiciously like Cappadocia in Turkey on which arrive a trio of astronauts from earth. The survivor (Charlton Heston), to his horror, finds that the planet is ruled by apes while humans have been reduced to mute animal-like beings tormented, hunted and captured by the ruling simians. A semi-nude Heston goes through most of the film chained and degraded as he tries to convince the disbelieving apes of his human intellect. One of the film's many highlights is the first time Heston speaks in front of his captors - "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" - shocking the apes who have never heard humans speak. Along the way he befriends a mute woman (Linda Harrison) and encounters two allies in sympathetic chimpanzee scientists, the circumspect Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and the bold and outspoken Zira (Kim Hunter), who believe in him and try to convince their superior orangutan Dr Zaius (Maurice Evans) of his intelligence. The story reflects on and points out problems in our society providing a philosophical point of view on the true nature and character of man as predator and destroyer. Crackling adventure film moves at a brisk pace leading up to a shocking twist ending. The outstanding makeup effects won a special Oscar along with nominations for costume design and Jerry Goldsmith's iconic music score. The film holds up through repeated viewings and is rightfully remembered today as a classic.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Ted Post, 1970) 6/10

This sub-standard sequel is almost like a remake during the first half and then explores the shocking revelation of the original. An astronaut, Brent (James Franciscus), crash lands on the planet in search of the missing Taylor (Charlton Heston) who disappeared mysteriously after escaping with the mute girl Nova (Linda Harrison). He comes across the girl who takes him to the ape village where they are imprisoned. The ape scientist, Zira (Kim Hunter), helps them to escape and they end up in a subterranean subway station which happens to be New York after a nuclear war destroyed the world. The silly finalé has them captured by radiation-crazed super humans who have the power to communicate telepathically and worship a nuclear doomsday device. They also find the imprisoned Taylor - Heston was roped in for a few scenes - just when the apes attack. The film lacks the novelty of the original but Hollywood churned out yet more sequels with continuously diminishing returns in terms of plots and thrills.

Escape From the Planet of the Apes (Don Taylor, 1971) 7/10

Just before earth is destroyed by a nuclear explosion the two ape scientists Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and his pregnant wife Zira (Kim Hunter), manage to escape in a rocket and travel back in time to present-day earth. The screenplay now begins its journey of how roles in the future got reversed with apes ruling over humans. The American government and public fete the two intelligent talking apes and are befriended by two scientists (Bradford Dillman & Natalie Trundy). As they divulge information about their lives in the future an unscrupulous Presidential advisor (Eric Braeden) secretly plans to kill the two apes and their newly born baby in order to change history and mankind's bleak future. Excellent episode in the series evolves into an amusing satire of media and celebrity culminating in tragedy but with a twist as the superior ape baby has been left in the hands of a circus owner (Ricardo Montalban). This allows the series to go onto its increasingly dark future. The film's highlight is the touching relationship between the two apes played with great sweetness by McDowall and Hunter.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (J. Lee Thompson, 1972) 7/10

The series takes on a violent turn as servitude apes in 1991 California decide to revolt at the behest of Caesar (Roddy McDowall) the son of the intellectual apes Cornelius and Zira. His saviour, the old circus owner (Ricardo Montalban), kills himself while under interrogation to reveal the whereabouts of the talking ape triggering a violent reaction. Caesar, in the employ of an evil and racist Governor (Don Murray in fine despicable form), trains all the apes in servitude to revolt against humans. Sympathetic to his cause is the Governor's black aide - a plot point that turns the film into an allegory in which man's cruelty to beasts becomes symbolic of man's inhumanity to man which remains relevant even today and especially in the United States with its deplorable historic racism towards the black race. Paul Dehn's screenplay was conceived as a take on the American Civil Rights movement of the time and the film, a big hit like every one in the series, was especially popular with black audiences. The final battle against humans ends with a plea for peace, compassion and understanding.

Battle For the Planet of the Apes (J. Lee Thompson, 1973) 5/10

Last sequel in the series is a rather lackluster film. After New York is decimated by a nuclear explosion a small group of apes and humans co-exist in peace in a nearby village headed by Caesar (Roddy McDowall). When he is told that the archives under the destroyed city hold tapes with recordings of his parents, Cornelius and Zira, he decides to go and look for them. Unfortunately its like heading into a hornet's nest as the radiation-infected human survivors give chase and arrive to destroy their peaceful village. Adding to Caesar's woes is their gorilla General who decides to revolt killing Caesar's son who overhears his plans. Slow film is capped by a battle scene with the attackers resembling a motley version of the freaks from the "Mad Max" films. Adding a touch of gravitas to the proceedings are veteran actors John Huston, as the narrator, and Lew Ayres as keeper of their munitions - both stars in heavy ape makeup. Contrived film appears to have been assembled in an attempt to make one last buck from the franchise and was followed by a 14-episode tv series with Roddy McDowall starring.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:05 am

True Story of the Kelly Gang (2020) Justin Kurzel 4/10
1917 (2029) Sam Mendes 5/10
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Dean DeBlois 4/10
Missing Link (2019) Christ Butler 4/10
Klaus (2019) Sergio Pablos & Carlos Martinez Lopez 4/10
The Victim (2019) Niall MacCormick 6/10
Asya's Happiness (1966) Andrey Konchalovsky 6/10

Repeat viewings

Where the Green Ants Dream (1984) Werner Herzog 9/10
A Summer's Tale (1996) Eric Rohmer 8/10
The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (1974) Werner Herzog 10/10
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) Luis Bunuel 10/10
Death in Venice (1971) Luchino Visconti 10/10
Autumn Tale (1998) Eric Rohmer 9/10
The Player (1992) Robert Altman 9/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:19 pm

The Gentlemen (2020) Guy Ritchie 7/10
Biker Fox (2010) Jeremy Lamberton 5/10
Isabel (1968) Paul Almond 4/10
The Act of the Heart (1970) Paul Almond 2/10
Avengers: Endgame (2019) Anthony Russo & Joe Russo 1/10
The Narrow Corner (1933) Alfred E. Green 5/10
The Blue Villa (1995) Dimitri de Clercq & Alain Robbe-Grillet 6/10
The Confessions of Felix Krull (1957) Kurt Hoffmann 8/10
Sweet Hours (1982) Carlos Saura 6/10
Buster and Billie (1974) Daniel Petrie 7/10
Little Monsters (2019) Abe Forsythe 2/10
The Traitor (2019) Marco Bellocchio 7/10

Repeat viewings

A Time to Live and a Time to Die (1985) Hsiao-Hsien Hou 7/10
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) Werner Herzog 7/10
The Canyons (2013) Paul Schrader 7/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:32 am

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019) 4/10

Cloying ode to compassion and kindness. A cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), with serious Daddy (Chris Cooper) issues, is assigned by his magazine editor (Christine Lahti) to write a piece on television personality Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), the host of the television series Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. The screenplay, based on Tom Junod's Esquire article, has a predictable arc with every character painted with broad strokes. The journalist makes peace with his dad, becomes a better husband and a loving father to his baby son all after interacting with the twinkly but annoyingly sweet Mr. Rogers. Rhys is very good but Hanks comes off mannered and looking like a waxwork thanks to awful makeup.

Dream Girl (Raaj Shaandilyaa, 2019) 6/10

Ayushman Khurrana became a huge star playing the "everyman" in films which are almost always set in a small-town mileu surrounded by characters who have a strong whiff of reality. These films provide not only a strong part for Khurrana but Bollywood's outstanding catalogue of character actors fit in perfectly playing assorted types instantly recognizable from life. From roles that had him play a sperm donor, to an uneducated man forced into marriage with an overweight woman, to one with a severe case of erectile dysfunction, to one who is horrified to discover his parents are about to become parents yet again in middle age, to one who is forced to deal with his baldness, Khurrana has managed to juggle highly original roles which have also included dead serious dramas where he has played a cop in a social drama and a blind man in a suspense-filled wicked film noir. Here he tackles comedy playing a cross-gender male, a jobless young man who has the ability to mimick a girl's voice. He is lauded by the villagers because ever since childhood he would play the role of the goddess "Sita" on stage in mythological plays. Although fed up with this female act he ends up in a job at a radio station where he has to speak and provide advice to lovelorn listeners in the voice of a female. So "Pooja" is born, becomes a rage and men calling in start to fall in love with "her". Problems ensue when he himself falls in love with a young woman (Nushrat Bharucha ) whose brother is madly in love with "Pooja". Notwithstanding the silly premise and tasteless humour, the performances by the entire cast is spot on especially Khurrana who has a field day with the farcical situations. The screenplay, like most Bollywood films, devolves into melodrama during the second half and suffers from a lack of ingenuity. A huge boxoffice hit the film continues Khurrana on his rising career trajectory which is in sharp contrast to the other male superstars who rely on sappy romantic melodramas or action oriented films where they flex their muscular bodies. Khuraana gets wonderful support by Annu Kapoor as his hapless father in love with and wanting to marry "Pooja", Vijay Raaz as the poetry-spouting cop who woos "Pooja" on the phone and Neela Mulherkar as the whiskey guzzling grandmother.

Saand Ki Aankh / Bullseye (Tushar Hiranandani, 2019) 7/10

Crowd pleasing inspirational true story about female empowerment as two old women challenge patriarchy by picking up the ultimate symbol of masculinity - the gun. Two grandmothers - Chandro (Bhumi Pednekar) & Prakashi (Taapsee Pannu) - in a small village in Uttar Pradesh have spent their entire lives in suppression as wives to over bearing men who rule their household with an iron hand. While the veiled women work in fields and in the house cooking cleaning and producing children, their husbands spend their time sitting around smoking and reading. When by chance they discover sharp shooting skills they enter competitions in secret helped by a local doctor winning medals and money. Their efforts are to enable their grand daughters to follow suit and get government jobs under the sports quota and escape from an oppressed life. Both leading ladies give memorable performances despite being miscast with unconvincing old-age makeup. The screenplay often veers off into melodrama and the film goes on too long but the powerful underlying message at its center - shattering the brutality of patriarchy and the terror of women in villages - is heartfelt and important.

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

Postby Reza » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:56 am

Sabin wrote:
Reza wrote
But it WAS dude. I mean can't one even do some old fashioned oogling anymore? Or is that also politically incorrect now?

I was kidding! Can't I make or a joke without you getting triggered? Or are you too politically correct, lol


Me politically correct? Heavens forbid. Don't want Wes to ever think I'm transforming into an American :P

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

Postby Sabin » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:55 pm

Reza wrote
But it WAS dude. I mean can't one even do some old fashioned oogling anymore? Or is that also politically incorrect now?

I was kidding! Can't I make or a joke without you getting triggered? Or are you too politically correct, lol
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR


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