What was the last movie you saw?

HanaBi

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Inception (2010)

A fascinating idea of planting (inception) an idea into someone's subconscious state while in deep sleep. And this film takes it to an extra couple of levels by putting such an idea within a dream within a dream within a dream in order to achieve the desired result.

Lots of technobabble of course, along with token fight sequences - which in some regards felt totally detached from the tone of the subject matter. But I did enjoy the convincing sfx, not least the zero-grav corridors and the cityscape folding in on itself.

That said, I came away feeling rather "meh" about the whole thing, purely because of the purpose of the "inception" - all to do with large corporations and monopolies and father/son power struggles etc. There was nothing to really care about at the more basic human level, nothing that really threatened humanity as a whole. So come the end of the film I came away thinking - well what have we learned here, and should I really care?

People have said this is a "complicated" film to follow first time round - but it really isn't! Strip away the technobabble and it's just a bastard offspring of The Matrix meets Memento in concept, with a few default action sequences tacked on for good measure.

The music by Hans Zimmer, is not his best, but is effective in certain places, especially at the end. But really carries little or no weight: doesn't push the story or the audience's feelings along. It's as if the entire production was done in a dream state itself!

A nice idea that never really goes anywhere, and an ending that is marginally saved by a rather predictable sub-plot

3/5
 

Overread

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Hana I felt the same about Inception - esp after all the publicity before its release about it being a deep and complicated and meaningful and all that I just felt that the core mechanic was abused, annoyingly confusing to follow and yet in the end didn't really leave a sense of mystery because you could plainly see where it was heading "this is all a dream - or is it!"


And I just saw Ironclad. Now the blurb says "Magnificent Seven style" so I was already ready to like it; and I didn't. The characters (despite having some well known and good actors) were as flat as pancakes. I didn't feel any connection to them, didn't really feel any identity with them and the filming was rather heavy on the whole "drab, colourless, dark broody" that when you then make your core cast all dress in dark broody colours with beards - well - they kind of just all merge into each other.
The plot felt terribly weak. I'm all for a tiny team of ultimate warriors defending a castle against a huge army. But this was a group of regular men defending a rather poorly build castle with hardly any warriors. It was honestly painful to watch then win fight after fight or valiantly hold the line when the door was breached when the attackers outnumber them, have bows and arrows, siege equipment and supplies and the defenders have one tiny catapult and er, well that's it really. No archers, no spearmen, no men at arms nothing. If we'd seen these men hold of whole armies whilst wearing blessed armour and wielding god-touched swords yeah I could have gotten behind that fantasy. But in a film trying to be real it just felt painful and forced.

Sadly as the characters don't even grab me its not even able to be a guilty sin film where one overlooks the weakness of plot for the actors and characters. I also don't get why, as they appeared to have the budget for it, we didnt have any sort of settlement or town; no peasants risen to warriors and armed from the smithy to hold the walls - at least then they'd have the bodies and numbers to make a viable stand against an assault; and a reason for the attacking army of thousands to hold off into a proper siege (I mean really has any large attacking army settled in for a long siege against less than 20 defenders?)
 

Cathbad

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Justice League (2017)

I finally watched this. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best it could have been. I found the pace... "choppy". Uneven. Oh, each scene was good. Wasn't a bad one in the whole movie. Great action scenes, strong emotional ones. But... where was the Editor when the whole thing was put together? Didn't the director know what the next scene would be about?

With better editing, this would have been a great movie. As it turned out, I'd call it mediocre.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Black Raven (1943)

Above average Poverty Row flick of the Old Dark House variety. George Zucco stars as a criminal-turned-innkeeper. He used to be known as the Black Raven, and that's the name of his inn, too. It's somewhere near the Canadian border, and apparently Zucco has a profitable sideline in helping crooks get out of the USA. During a heavy rainstorm which washes out the bridge into Canada, a bunch of folks wind up at his place.

1. A guy who took the rap for Zucco for some crime or other. He has escaped from prison and is out for revenge.

2. A gangster who is on the run from a bigger gangster who has taken over his territory.

3 and 4. A couple who is eloping, because the woman's father doesn't approve.

5. The father of the would-be bride, after his daughter, who also happens to be the crime boss after Number Two.

6. A meek little fellow who has just embezzled $50,000.

Number Five is murdered, and everybody else has a motive. It's up to Good Bad Guy Zucco to solve the crime. Along for the ride are Glenn Strange (the Frankenstein Monster!) as Zucco's handyman and Charles Middleton (Ming the Merciless!) as the local sheriff.

It holds the viewer's interest for its brief running time of just over an hour, including a message at the end reminding the audience to buy War Bonds.
 

HanaBi

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"The Match Factory Girl" (1990 - Finnish)

Iris (Kati Outinen) works as a quality controller in a heavily mechanised factory that makes matchsticks in some backwater town in Finland in the late 1980s. She seemingly hates her job, and doesn't get on all that well with the handful of colleagues that work there as well. On top of that she finds it very difficult to get on with her mother and step-father back at her very shabby home, often having to cook dinner, clean, pay rent and generally play the servant to her lazy guardians.

She goes out at night to the local bars and clubs, hoping against hope she will attract a boyfriend; but unfortunately she is not the prettiest woman in the place and is often left alone cuddling her glass of beer all night.

And then one night, she does get lucky and meets up with a man in a dance hall. They drink and dance, and ultimately spend the night together back at his more opulent home. For that one night she is happy, and we see her contentment through her smiles. She believes - wrongly - that she has finally found a boyfriend that will sweep her off her feet and take here away from this tedious poverty-stricken life.

The following morning Iris is still sleeping in the man's comfortable bed; he is fully dressed and is about to go to work. He looks at her sleeping state, and then takes out some money from his wallet and puts it next to her thinking she is a prostitute!

Later on she calls him for a second date, and despite his reticence he meets her parents at their hovel of a home. He is not impressed, and Iris is embarrassed. They both go out for dinner, but the man confesses that he doesn't want anything more to do with her. She walks out crying all the way home.

She later finds she is pregnant by the man, but when she tells him of the news, his reply is curt "Get rid of the brat!!"

Dazed, angry and confused she walks home, only to be hit by a car and ultimately has a miscarriage.

Despairing of life, she plots her revenge against all those that have shunned, mistreated or belittled her.

A film of only 69 minutes in length, feels more like a documentary than anything else; it is also a film of few words, and very slow paced. And yet I came away wishing for more - I was encapsulated by the riveting performance of Kati Outinen - such a lonely isolated and unloved figure of a woman you just felt the urge to reach out and hold her hand and tell her everything will be okay!

This is also far from a happy film, and the ending is rather sardonic; but for Iris a blessed relief.

Ludwig van Der Rohe's "Less is More!" has never been more apposite.

Outstanding from start to finish

5/5
 

Anthoney

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Two very different films. Upgrade with Logan Marshal-Green. This was enjoyable but predictable.

Does every film with AI in it have to make it crazy or evil?

Then I watched the crowd funded Mythica: The Darkspore. The second of 5 D&D type adventure movies made for a few hundred thousand each. These people did a lot with a little. They are probably better quality than the new CW fantasy show The Outpost.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)

Adaptation of the 1969 novel of the same name. A white politician needs to increase his support among African-Americans to win an election, so he pressures the CIA into accepting black candidates. The CIA puts them through tough tests and training, hoping and assuming nobody will qualify, but one does. He gets assigned to make photocopies and act as a guide. Five years after serving quietly, he accepts a job as a social worker in Chicago. That's when he reveals his real plan. He trains a street gang into guerrilla soldiers, using the skills he picked up in the CIA. The highly disciplined organization eventually spreads to all major cities in the USA. When a riot breaks out after the cops shoot a small-time crook, leading to the National Guard showing up, things explode into open warfare. Modestly budgeted and looking sometimes like a made-for-TV movie (although the riot scenes are pretty convincing), this is nevertheless a remarkably radical film, which seems to suggest that armed revolution was the proper response to the racial tensions of the time.
 

Harpo

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The Lost World (1925)
The excellent Wallace Beery is Professor Challenger, playing second fiddle to the wonderful dinosaurs. I wonder if this was the first film in which a world famous landmark is destroyed by a big monster. Loved it. Better than anything similar this century.
 

HanaBi

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"Once Were Warriors" (1994 - New Zealand)

An incredibly hard hitting (in every sense of the word!) film concerning an underclass Maori family living and surviving in a world of crime, alcoholism, drug abuse and terrible domestic violence!

Jake (Temuera Morrison), is the generally passive unemployed father and husband, who spends most of his time drinking heavily in the local bars. And that is where the troubles begin, for once he starts drinking he is very quick to lose his temper, and often deals out brutal beatings to anyone who gets in his way.

Unfortunately, his wife (Rena Owen) and to a lesser extent his two teenage children, often end up being beaten and/or verbally abused when Jake returns home from another drink & drugs spree, which only fragments the family unit even more.

This film is by its very nature incredibly brutal, violent, cruel, relentless, bleak and unfair! There is no happy ending to speak of; and this is no glossy Hollywood so-called drama when everything looks fake and polished.

I must admit to finding it hard to watch, especially when psychopathic Jake take out his drunken violence on his wife! This is about as close to a reality-documentary as you're ever likely to see on film, and you need a strong constitution to get to the very end.

Brilliant performances all round, but special mention must go to Rena Owen - the human "punch bag" who is still a mother, a wife and above all a woman having to face up to the unpredictable nature of her husband.

Riveting stuff, but not for the faint hearted

4/5
 

Vince W

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Ready Player One (2018) What a disappointing effort. I loved the book because is spoke to my inner nerd/geek. There was so much there that I immediately related to.The film version completely glossed over so much of what made the book a treat. No Dungeons and Dragons. No Joust. No Pac-man. No Rush. Spielberg took a book that was aimed at 80s 13 year olds that are 40+ today and aimed it at 13 year olds of today that wouldn't understand the references, so he got rid of them.

I'm so glad I didn't go to the cinema to see this one and I won't be buying the blu-ray.

Back to School (1986) After sitting through RPO I needed something to try and clear the taste of RPO out of my mind. Perfect fun and something that should have been considered when making RPO.
 

Cathbad

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IT (2017)

Finally got to watch this, on NETFLIX.

Not quite as good as the first one, but a whole lot gorier. I guess that's what sells today, rather than good acting.

Bill Skarsgard looked better as Pennywise, but Tim Curry out-acted him in 1990 but a couple miles. The rest of the ensemble did fine.

I figured they'd break it up into 2 movies - which I'm fine with, seeing as I advocated for it being split into 2 novels when King's masterpiece came out.

I was happy to see they showed a "blood ritual"; I was quite afraid, given the current state of Hollywood, they'd present King's version of how they bonded. I did not want to see that!

Overall, a B for effort.
 

Vince W

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IT (2017)

Finally got to watch this, on NETFLIX.

Not quite as good as the first one, but a whole lot gorier. I guess that's what sells today, rather than good acting.

Bill Skarsgard looked better as Pennywise, but Tim Curry out-acted him in 1990 but a couple miles. The rest of the ensemble did fine.
No kidding. Tim Curry's smile alone is a better Pennywise than Skarsgard.
 

Anthoney

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Extinction (2018) the new Netflix movie. It seemed very much like a TV movie of the week. An interest twist but one I've seen before done several ways. Sci-fi elements that seem like precognition, thought control, robots and aliens.
 

Jeffbert

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I must have seen Dredd, but thought both of those films were called Judge Dredd. I liked the first one better, but the second one was o.k.

Beast from Haunted Cave (1960) a rather silly and cheap monster that we hardly even see, kills the bank robbers as they attempt to escape.


The Night Visitor (1970) Max Von Sydow as an insane asylum inmate, who was sent there because he was framed for murder, & the guilty ones, supposedly his friends, had his lawyer change his plea from not guilty to guilty by reason of insanity. So, MVS is in a concrete cell with apparently no way to escape, but he does, in the dead of winter, wearing very little, because he uses his clothes as rope. He kills those who framed him, & plants evidence pointing to one of them not yet killed. Finally. his escape method is shown. I think it was a bit too complex, and thus, very much unbelievable.

Roadblock (1951) Another Noir Alley presentation; Charles McGraw as an insurance investigator who meets a woman who has a taste for wealth, which, when he goes bad to afford her, she goes humble and accepts his middle class status. But he had already made a deal with her former boyfriend, to rob a mail car of over $1M. Too late to call it off, the old boyfriend was not to be dissuaded. Good show! but his choice of escape routes was dumb.

I recall earlier saying that I had never heard of Charles McGraw, until that other film, but, Muller says that he was in more than a few Noir films. My bad!
 

Vince W

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I must have seen Dredd, but thought both of those films were called Judge Dredd. I liked the first one better, but the second one was o.k.
The first film Judge Dredd did a good job with the look of Megacity One, but it didn't capture the spirit of the characters. Dredd didn't get the look the same, but they absolutely nailed the tone and characters.

I hope the new MC-1 television series combines the best of both.
 

BAYLOR

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It's A Mad,Mad, Mad, Mad, World This is withouts is endlessly entertaining and one of the greatest comic films of all time .:D
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The People Who Own the Dark (1976)

Offbeat Spanish science fiction/horror film. It starts with a decadent party held in the dungeon of a mansion, with the men wearing grotesque masks and drinking wine with some kind of drug dumped into it. Several barely dressed women are supplied for their pleasure. (I'll give the movie credit for giving these women some character. One of them even has an introductory back story; she's married, with two young children, and has to call her mother to babysit the kids while she earns money in this way.) Before anything happens, however, the whole place shakes as if there's been an earthquake. In fact, there's been a nuclear war. Everybody outside at the time of the blast is now blind. When the party folks go out to find some food, some of the blind people get killed by one of them. He gets killed in turn. Soon total war breaks out, with the party people holed up in the mansion with guns, and hordes of angry blind folks coming after them. This variation on Night of the Living Dead (or any version of Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend) with a bit of Day of the Triffids also adds a bit of satiric surrealism in the tradition of Bunuel. At one point, one of the party people goes insane, puts on a pig mask, strips off his clothes, and crawls around the floor snorting. Spanish horror king Paul Naschy appears as one of the party folks. It's quite an interesting film, with one heck of a dark and cynical twist ending.
 

Starbeast

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Despicable Me 3 (2017) - I like the first two movies, but, I couldn't find anything I liked in this installment. I only made it one third of the way, then found something else to watch. It's for kids. For me, it was boring and exceedingly uninteresting. I can't tolerate those little yellow Minions any more.

Devil's Gate (2017) - This was...AWESOME!!! A great horror gem that was recommended to me. Basically, it's about an FBI agent who is investigating the whereabouts of a woman and her son, which leads to locating the husband, who seems to be the prime suspect in their disappearance. However, he, has some-THING, locked up in his basement............ That's all I'm going to say.

Red Dwarf XI (series 11) - Tremendously entertaining science fiction comedy. Another great six run episodes. Brilliantly imaginative and LOL funny. Now onward to watch series 12.



RE-WATCHED

Emperor of the North (1973) - I haven't seen this in ages. A fantastic dramatic film, set in 1933 America, during the "Depression Years", where wandering, homeless people were called, "hobos". Actor, Lee Marvin, plays the main character (a highly respected hobo) who challenges a mean train conductor (Ernest Borgnine - who hates railroad car-hopping tramps), by riding his train.
 
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