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

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

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:13 am

Hotel Mumbai (Anthony Maras, 2019) 8/10

Riveting account of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks perpetuated by ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan. The group simultaneously attacked eight different points in Mumbai and this film focuses on the attack on the famous Taj Palace Hotel where guests and staff were indiscriminately shot, killed and held hostage. All the attackers were brain washed young men and in constant touch with their handler via cell phones who urged them on. The screenplay uses a composite of characters - a young Sikh waiter (Dev Patel), an American (Armie Hammer) married to an Iranian Muslim (Nazanin Boniadi), the Head Chef Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a sleazy Russian businessman (Jason Isaacs) among the most prominent - who were terrorized, shot at or held hostage. The bravery of the hotel staff, the intense terror, the bombings and burning of the hotel are all presented with suspense and horror. This is not the typical Hollywood film where we know the hero will survive after acts of bravery. Instead we get to see that often heroes do not get to live happily ever after and terrorist attacks are not only horrific but shamefully perpetuated in the name of religion. Over 170 people died and 300 were injured during the attack and it was shocking how unprepared the Mumbai police were as special forces had to be flown in from Delhi which took hours allowing the attackers to continue their mayhem. Extremely sad turn of events with this film serving as a tribute to the resilience of the people who lived and died during the attacks.

Riddick (David Twohy, 2013) 6/10

This third part of the trilogy harks back to the stripped-down look of the first installment "Pitch Black". Riddick (Vin Diesel) finds himself trapped on a sun-soaked planet inhabited by vicious CGI creatures. Sending a distress signal attracts two shiploads of creeps consisting of every ethnic type including a tough-talking lesbian. The plot is a race against time for Riddick to try and outlive all the humans and beasts. Non-stop action quickly gets derivative as the scorpion-like aliens, dripping venom, come at everyone fast and furious. Diesel has by now grown into the role - there was no Razzie nod for his performance here which he got for the second outing - and the camera swoons over his rippled body as he grunts out quips. Nothing new here in terms of content and which we haven't seen before in all the "Alien" & "Predator" franchises. Time maybe to retire now.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:25 am

Rocketman (2019) Dexter Fletcher 5/10
The Ice King (2018) James Erskine 6/10
Angelo (2018) Markus Schleinzer 5/10
Divine Love (2019) Gabriel Mascaro 7/10
Ray & Liz (2019) Richard Billingham 8/10
The Third Wife (2019) Ash Mayfair 6/10
One Child Nation (2019) Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang 6/10
Piranhas (2019) Claudio Giovanessi 5/10
The Souvenir (2019) Joanna Hogg 4/10
Pain and Glory (2019) Pedro Almodovar 7/10
Varda by Agnes (2019) Agnes Varda 6/10
Alpha, the Right to Kill (2019) Brilliant Mendoza 4/10
Never Look Away (2018) Florian Henchel von Donnersmarck 7/10

Repeat viewings

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) Roy Del Ruth 7/10
Burning (2019) Chang-dong Lee 9/10
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) Robert Hamer 9/10
Cries and Whispers (1972) Ingmar Bergman 10/10
“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 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:50 pm

An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky, 1978) 9/10

One of the seminal films of the 1970s with a sharp perspective screenplay by Paul Mazursky. He wrote the part of Erica in the film specifically for Jill Clayburgh who gives a luminous performance for which she won a prize at the Cannes film festival and a richly deserved Oscar nomination. A "happily" married woman (Jill Clayburgh) is one day cruelly told by her husband (Michael Murphy) that he has fallen in love with a younger woman and wants out of their marriage. So begins the rebirth of this suddenly "unmarried" woman as she goes through grief helped along the way by her close-knit group of girlfriends, her teenage daughter, assorted creepy dates and discovering love once again with a dreamy painter (Alan Bates). The unconventional ending of the film is very real and was a flag waving moment for feminists everywhere. It is also one of the best films about New York, a city that is shown in all its glory - grime and all - in the background from every angle possible. A wonderful film.

The Hireling (Christopher Miles, 1973) 8/10

The possibilities could be endless in a relationship between an aristocratic British woman (Sarah Miles) and a fastidious but rough-hewn chauffeur (Robert Shaw). However, this is 1920s Britain and that pesky little thing called the class system comes between them. Not that things have quite changed in many parts of the world. She is just out of a resting home after suffering a nervous breakdown when her much older politician husband died - there is a whiff of the middle class malaise of guilt because she was at a party when her husband dropped. He, owner of a Rolls Royce and a car-for-hire business, drives her from the hospital to her mother's house. A polite conversation leads to twice weekly drives around the countryside - she asks to sit next to him in the front while he chats about a wife and kids which he does not have. Her mother (Elizabeth Sellers) wants her to be more outgoing and meet people which she gradually does and attracts an aspiring politician and a cad (Peter Egan) who has a lower-class mistress and is after her money. The film is steeped in post-WWI trauma - the wire around the hospital grounds evoke POW camps, most women are widows and the chauffeur, a retired sergeant-major, shows cracks underneath his jovial appearance with sudden outbursts at colleagues and going through passionless sex with a waitress. There is an inevitable clash as jealousy rears its ugly head leading to a changed perspective about life for both main characters. She comes out with a positive outlook while he suffers a meltdown. After all there was never any hope for different classes to come together and form a union. Slow but exquisite drama, based on the novel by L. P. Hartley, is superbly acted and photographed. Sarah Miles, known for playing sexually charged women, plays memorably against type while Robert Shaw takes his dry character to an hysterical crescendo during the melodramatic finalé. Christopher Miles was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival and his sister Sarah Miles was given a special prize.

Serenity (Steven Knight, 2019). 7/10

The film's poster evokes memories of "Jagged Edge" and "Fatal Attraction" and as the plot moves along we remember other fun thrillers like "Dead Calm" and "Body Heat". A loner (Matthew McConaughey), obsessed with catching a giant tuna (shades of "Moby Dick"), runs a fishing boat off a tiny island. A man of few words he interacts only with his first mate (Djimon Hounsou) and a sex starved woman (Diane Lane) who gives him money in return for a regular roll in the sack. Into his life arrives a vision in white (Anne Hathaway) - looking like Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca" but with long blonde hair like Veronica Lake - who is his ex-wife. She has a job for him. Kill her present husband (Jason Clarke), a ruthless wife-beater who torments her son - actually their son who spends all his time on a computer while telepathically in contact with his tuna obsessed dad - for a price of ten million dollars. The premise is simple and familiar but there is a skinny man running around who has a strange story to tell. Superbly shot film captures the sun and sea on and below the surface and a neat little mystery running through the plot which seems convoluted. Enjoyable film but for me the big mystery was why Diane Lane accepted the thankless part she has in the film. She deserves much better.

Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher, 2019) 7/10

Dexter Fletcher directs this film as if he is presenting a Broadway musical about the life of rock star Elton John. Almost every famous song is presented as a huge spectacle as the child or adult Elton sings with a chorus of backup dancers gyrating in the background. It's all very Bollywood and it works keeping in view the singer's flamboyant personality which he created to possibly hide his ordinary (ugly) looks - even though Matthew Illesley & Tom Connor who play Reggie the child prodigy at different ages and Taron Egerton who plays Elton the adult are all good looking actors - hence the excessive use of gaudy film sequinned costumes, feathers, high-heeled boots and giant outlandish spectacles. Egerton is a revelation in the part as he not so much copies the singer but gives his own impersonation. And he sings all the songs himself. The plot is otherwise the typical by-the-numbers biography with some odd casting - Bryce Dallas Howard as his self absorbed mother - covering his homosexuality, various addictions (drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex, bulimia and anger management) and relationships with his loving grandmother (Gemma Jones), lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) and manager / lover John Reid (Richard Madden). The film soars during all the musical numbers - a virtual greatest hits compilation which are immensely crowd pleasing. Coming in the wake of last year's "Bohemian Rhapsody" it is a worthwhile follow up and allows younger generations to discover the music and talent of Elton John. The film's outrageous costumes deserve an Oscar and surely Taron Egerton is the year's first serious contender for an Oscar in the leading actor category. And this film is a prelude to the inevitable Broadway production that will surely arrive in a couple of years.

Arctic (Joe Penna, 2019) 7/10

Man against nature as two plane crash survivors battle the harsh terrain, sub-zero temperatures, dangerous crevices, body injuries and a pesky polar bear that has a habit of unexpectedly turning up baring its ferocious fangs. Mads Mikkelsen hurls himself into the role giving an intense performance. You can actually feel his pain as he literally pushes an injured female companion towards safety that seems unreachable. The film captures the scary but majestic beauty of the Arctic landscape.

Pitch Black (David Twohy, 2000) 7/10

Low budget Sci-fi has a space ship crash landing on a desert planet. The occupants are a motley crew - kick-ass female pilot (Radha Mitchell), an Arab Muslim preacher (Keith David) and three kids enroute to Mecca (a cool touch - they even pray to Allah) - a girl disguised as a boy, an artifact collector, a few others (around so they can be disposed off when the going gets tough) and a morphine addicted bounty hunter and war veteran (Coles Hauser) transporting the criminal Riddick (Vin Diesel). They are all forced to join hands when predatory aliens underneath the sand attack. All very deja vu but with Vin Diesel leading the party it's action fun all the way.

The Chronicles of Riddick (David Twohy, 2004) 4/10

This sequel to Vin Diesel's "Pitch Black" gets a much larger budget and the campy presence of Dame Judi Dench wearing a dress made of Swarovski crystals. According to her autobiography she had no clue what was going on in the film's plot but liked the enormous sets. Yes, the film is a production designer's dream come true with Vin Diesel back as Riddick and having to fight the invading Necromongers - headed by their effeminate Lord Marshall (Colin Feore), his cruel second-in-command (Karl Urban), the latter's Lady Macbeth-like wife (Thandie Newton) and their duplicitous lieutenant (Linus Roache) all of whom try to out do each other in the camp sweepstakes - on a planet that unites him with the Arab preacher, Imam (David Yates). Diesel, in a tank top and sunglasses, is hilariously stiff but managed to make for himself this franchise not unlike the "Terminator" franchise made by an equally stiff Schwarzenegger - although Vin has a heads up on the Austrian ex-Gov for being a bigger success with his second franchise driving fast cars. The nonsensical plot has non-stop Hong Kong style martial-arts action - many die but the blood count is negligible. Dame Judi is an etherial presence and the third survivor from the first film, Kyra (Alexa Davalos) who impersonated a boy, is back in kick-ass style. Dame Judi was absolutely correct. The plot makes no sense. You just gotta watch Vin do his thing which he does with great gusto.

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

Postby Reza » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:32 am

Compartiment tueurs / The Sleeping Car Murders (Costa-Gavras, 1965) 8/10

Murder on the Marseilles to Paris sleeping train has a whiff of Agatha Christie's famous thriller, also set on a train, but since this is a french film the characters are all quirky and not very distinguished and the film's structure is similar to Ed McBain and the 87th Precinct books. Five strangers share a cabin on an overnight train while a sixth, a stowaway, joins them when all are asleep - a shifty fellow (Michel Piccoli) with a sex offence in his past, a flamboyant second rate actress (Simone Signoret), a young woman (Catherine Allégret) who befriends the stowaway (Jacques Perrin), a nondescript man (Paul Pavel) and a sexy beauty (Pascale Roberts) who is found strangled to death when the train reaches Paris. The hard-boiled police inspector (Yves Montand) - a tip of the hat to Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe, and his partner (Claude Mann) start interrogating the occupants of the cabin but one by one each is killed off by a mysterious gunman. Fast paced thriller throws in a red herring (Jean-Louis Trintignant as the actress' younger lover) leading to a sharply edited car chase, a claustrophobic scene set inside a phone booth and the end involving an unexpected gay twist which must have seemed shocking back in 1965. Costa-Gavras' first film is in complete contrast to the heavily political subjects he took on for all his subsequent work in which many of the present cast - Montand, Signoret, Trintignant - played major roles. The bizarre camera angles along with the jazzy score help to create the frantic mood and tension.

Mimì metallurgico ferito nell'onore / The Seduction of Mimi (Lina Wertmüller, 1972) 9/10

This first collaboration between Lina Wertmüller and Giancarlo Giannini not only reflects her own political committments but embodies the notion of Italian machismo through his character who is an inept and simple man. Heavily influenced by Federico Fellini she hilariously celebrates the grotesque side of human nature with her sympathetic view of the Italian working class who are downtrodden or politically neglected. Through her films she also celebrates her country as she takes her camera across the varied locales - here Piedmont and Sicily. Both Wertmüller and Giannini work with total abandon creating this hilarious masterpiece. Mimi (Giancarlo Giannini) suddenly leaves town after he angers the local mafia and he quickly learns to be a chameleon adapting himself to whatever situation he finds himself in. He changes political allegiances, women, jobs, towns, clothes. Leaving behind his wife (Agostina Belli), who hates the act of sex, he quickly encounters another woman (Mariangela Melato), a virgin anarchist, falls in love and has a child with her. The outlandish plot has him plotting revenge on his wife who has subsequently made him a cuckold and is pregnant with the child of an army sergeant. So he decides to seduce the sergeant's fat and plain wife (Elena Fiore) who also wants to revenge the wrong her husband has done to her. The film's highlight is their sex scene which has to be seen to be believed as Wertmüller, Giannini and a nude Fiore work in complete tandum to create one of the funniest moments ever put on screen. It is also a film which does not know the meaning of being politically correct as Wertmüller stages comedy around domestic abuse and sexual assault but does so in a satirical manner exaggerating the silly, pointless emotions driving the character's actions. Giannini's bravura performance rightfully made him a star while Wertmüller's frentic direction won her a prize at the Cannes film festival.

The Golden Salamander (Ronald Neame, 1950). 6/10

Atmospheric if rather slow British thriller has an excellent cast. An archaeologist (Trevor Howard) arrives in Tunisia to collect a shipment of antiquities. Instead he finds romance with a young local girl (Anouk Aimée) and clashes with a gang of gunrunners (Herbert Lom, Jacques Sernas) with whom he gets into a cat-and-mouse game ending with a chase sequence involving a boar hunt. Superbly shot on location by Oswald Morris.

All is True (Kenneth Branagh, 2018). 2/10

Lifeless and extremely tedious film about the last years of William Shakespeare's life. When the Globe theatre burns down Shakespeare (Sir Kenneth Branagh) returns home after years to his much older wife (Dame Judi Dench) and two grownup daughters. His remaining years are spent arguing with his daughter while pining for her fraternal twin, his son, who died at age 11 during the plague. The film briefly comes alive with the appearance of the Earl of Southampton (Sir Ian McKellen) who was Shakespeare's patron and supposed lover as the two men recite sonnets to each other. The entire enterprise is an ill-advised vanity project for Branagh who under loads of prosthetics not only looks like Ben Kingsley but makes his face immobile. Skip this film.

Beyond the Gates / Shooting Dogs (Michael Caton-Jones, 2005) 8/10

Moving and terrifying account of the Rwandan genocide which systematically resulted in the mass slaughter of the ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu groups. The setting of the film is the École Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kigali, Rwanda, in 1994. John Hurt plays a Catholic priest (loosely based on Vjekoslav Ćurić who was a Bosnian Croat Roman Catholic priest, friar and humanitarian and was one of the recognized martyrs of the genocide and known in Rwanda as the "African Oskar Schindler") and Hugh Dancy an English teacher, both Europeans, who are caught up in the events of the genocide as they try to save and bring comfort to the fleeing Tutsis. The film is notable for being shot in Kigali where most of the genicide took place. The film's title - "Shooting Dogs" - refers to the actions of the United Nation soldiers in shooting dogs that were scavenging dead human bodies yet were not allowed to kill the Hutu extremists who were savagely killing the Tutsis. The film captures the fear and evil, the humidity and dust and the graphic moments of violence which eventually caused the deaths of over a million innocent humans.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:12 pm

Femmina Violenta / Sin / The Beloved (George P. Cosmatos, 1971) 2/10

Low budget potboiler shot in Cyprus with an over heated screenplay involving illicit love, jealousy and murder. A man (Richard Johnson) returns home to an island village in Greece after 15 years. He discovers his late father left him only an old shack in his will and his childhood sweetheart (Raquel Welch) is unhappily married to his childhood buddy. With a dusky Raquel Welch around - in peasant mode no less - it's but obvious that adultery is the next step which leads to tragedy involving rape by a gang of kids. This absurd film barely got a release and has only Miss Welch, her flared nostrils, lustrous hair (which she tosses around like a horse) and incredibly flashy white teeth to provide the so called "entertainment". Adding to the inanity on the screen are the distinguished Dame Flora Robson as a greek materfamilias and Jack Hawkins as an Eastern Orthodox priest. This trashy film is an unofficial adaptation of Emile Zola's "Therese Raquin" and is a must-watch for fans of Miss Welch who can be seen on the poster at her charming best.

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.

Delhi Crime (Richie Mehta, 2019) 7/10

Riveting account of the notorious 2012 "Nirbhaya" Delhi Gang Rape case - a 23-year old woman was gang raped by six men on a bus and her male companion was beaten. The case was brought to trial in Delhi when the rapists were caught and public outrage resulted in major clashes with security forces. The screenplay follows the investigation into the aftermath of the crime as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Vartika Chaturvedi (Shefali Shah), leads her team into looking for the six culprits as the victim lies injured in hospital fighting for her life. The film soars during the complex details of the investigation with Shefali Shah giving a beautifully nuanced performance but is marred by many of the supporting cast who come off as amateurs in front of the camera. Having the entire dialogue performed in English also hampers the screenplay which would have been even more hard hitting if it had been in Hindi. The english language does not quite capture the nuances of many of the characters as they look awkward speaking a language which makes them clearly look uncomfortable on screen.

Seemabaddha / Company Limited (Satyajit Ray, 1971) 8/10

The second part in Ray's Calcutta trilogy shows the city's rapid modernization, rising corporate culture steeped in the remnants of British nuances, greed and the intense need to survive the rat race. An ambitious sales manager (Barun Chanda), working for a British firm dealing in fans, has spent the last ten years climbing the corporate ladder and now eyes a directorship in the Company. He has it all - a lovely trophy wife, a son studying in a posh boarding school and a plush apartment. Visiting them is his wife's young sister (Sharmila Tagore) who is exposed to their nouveau riche life of clubs, the cocktail party set, beauty parlours, restaurants and the race course. Ray uses her character as the main protagonist's conscience as the man finds himself not only attracted to her but can also relate to her as she is educated and has a strong voice providing constructive feedback. During a crisis at the office he takes certain illegal decisions that brings him the desired promotion but at the same time makes him fall in her eyes leaving him successful but shattered. There is a strong but subtle hint of cynism in the screenplay - the film almost seems to be Ray winking at Billy Wilder's "The Apartment" which was also about the attempts to rise in a corporate culture and what an individual is willing to do to get to the top. The low budget of the film and some unnecessary flashy touches put this film several notches below some of Ray's other masterpieces but the cast makes a strong impression especially lovely Sharmila Tagore who was used by Ray in many of his films.

Les félins / Joy House (René Clément, 1964) 8/10

A petty criminal (Alain Delon), on the run from mobsters, takes refuge as a chauffeur to a millionairess widow (a very chic Lola Albright) at her secluded gothic mansion in the South of France. Also in the house are her maid/niece (Jane Fonda) and hidden in the attic is her lover who has killed her husband. As the younger woman moves to seduce him he has to contend with the scheming widow, the murderer in the attic as well as fend off the mobsters who have discovered his whereabouts. Slick thriller, based on a pulp novel, has a kinky sense of humour simmering just between the surface as the ménage á trois indulge in sexual intrigue and double crosses. Delon is perfectly cast as the suave and sexy don juan who has no idea the limits both women can go to and is superbly matched by a dubbed and uninhibited Jane Fonda for whom this film was the start of her European sex kitten phase. The film has the added benefit of outstanding production design - the house is a maze of corridors, sliding walls and peepholes - wonderful camerawork by Clément regular, Henri Decae, and an upbeat score by Lalo Schifrin. The film bombed and got scathing reviews during an era when the nouvelle vague was all the rage and such films seemed old fashioned. However, it remains delightfully unpretentious helped in great part by the star trio.

The Sum of All Fears (Phil Alden Robinson, 2002) 4/10

Listless adaptation of the Tom Clancy thriller dispenses with Alec Baldwin and his succesor Harrison Ford and reboots CIA agent Jack Ryan in the guise of Ben Affleck who is far too young to carry off the role. The plot, in the wake of 9/11, sounds promising with a terrorist attack on Baltimore but the villains - a bunch of Neo-Nazis led by Alan Bates - seem like buffoons. They purchase a 30-year old nuclear bomb recovered from the Middle East desert, fix it up and blow up most of Baltimore where the President (James Cromwell) is attending a football game and putting the blame on Russia thus pitting both super powers against each other. Ryan is the only one around who believes its not the Russians and is laughed off by his superiors including his mentor (Morgan Freeman) at the agency. Implausible plot is full of holes and coupled with a miscast lead and low-level action sequences this film is pretty much a write-off.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:31 pm

Los amantes pasajeros / I'm So Excited! (Pedro Almodóvar, 2013) 2/10

Almodóvar hits rock bottom with this farce set on a plane about to make a crash landing. The crew is gay or bisexual, the passengers in economy have been drugged and the three stewards camp it up lip syncing to "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters. Fearing death the crew goes all out to make the plane a fun and happening place for the passengers in first class. A mean drug-fueled punch is prepared which everyone drinks and with inhibitions out of the window an orgy ensues. This madcap premise may sound hilarious but is instead a shocking bore as every antic and bitchy comment falls flat. Repetitious jokes about blowjobs and cheap sex gags all fall flat. Almodóvar should have taken a crash course in "Carry On" smut to bring in laughs. It's all meant to be a biting satire on the dismal state of the world but merely induces sleep. The only worthwhile thing in the film is the red and blue colour scheme of the plane's interior. And it's the first time Almodóvar regulars - Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz - appear in one of his films together. Lucky for them it's only a cameo appearance at the start and were spared from the dull excesses of this dismal film.

The Man With Two Faces (Archie Mayo, 1934) 4/10

A sleazy ex-con (Louis Calhern) has a strange control over his actress wife (Mary Astor) who lives in a trance around him much to the consternation of her actor-brother (Edward G. Robinson). When the unscupulous man suddenly turns up dead suspicion falls on the brother. Based on a flop Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Alexander Woolcott the movie version is stagy allowing the actors to bellow out their lines as if on stage. Ricardo Cortez is the play's producer in love with the actress who is making her comeback after a severe nervous breakdown. Calhern has a field day playing the witty mincing louse who has no redeeming quality and treats his two mice better than the people around him. Despite the theatrics involved with his performance Robinson is completely wasted.

Gloria Bell (Sebastián Lelio, 2019) 7/10

Character study of a woman, Gloria, 50-something, long divorced with grown up kids who are busy with their own lives. The film questions how society deals with the aging process for women so differently than it does for men. Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a free spirit, inwardly lonely, who has a thankless job and frequents L.A. nightclubs at night dancing to disco, drinking heavily and meeting men. Looking for a meaningful relationship she hooks up with a recently divorced man (John Turturro) who still pines for his ex-wife and has a strained relationship with his two grownup daughters. Needless to say things don't work out but Lelio's screenplay, an adaptation of his own Chilean film of which this is a remake, makes valid points about fears that hinder people from having a meaningful relationship capturing the awkwardness of dating and meeting grown up children, her mother (Holland Taylor), an ex-husband (Brad Garrett) and his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn). Moore is superb giving a raw performance, not afraid to bare her body or soul, showing the character's vulnerability. She is matched on screen by Turturro as a wishy-washy spineless man who loves her but is afraid to acknowledge her existance in front of his daughters. The film's nostalgic soundtrack of 80s disco and pop songs will have you humming afterwards.

Left Behind (Vic Armstrong, 2014) 5/10

According to the Book of Revelation the apocalypse will take place with millions of believers and all children mysteriously disappearing and going to heaven. The film, based on the bestselling novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, covers this day of judgement from the point of view of a father (Nicolas Cage) and his daughter (Cassi Thompson). He is a pilot flying a plane which hasn't got enough fuel left to reach an airport while she is suddenly left to deal with the situation on the ground with her young brother and religious mother who have disappeared. This is like one of those heathen vs christian biblical films from the 1950s where the latter with their belief in God win out. Here the survivors are the non-believers who are left to flounder in a world and left to face the end of days. The inane finalé has the daughter guiding her father's plane to land ending with a spectacular crash landing - shades of Karen Black flying a crippled Boeing 747 in "Airport '75". The film was universally panned probably because strange religious theories today do not go down well with the American public even though they lap up equally weird fiction involving super heroes who fly and save the world. The film does not deserve the critical brickbats it received but with Cage at the helm of yet another of his endless supply of B-films they probably felt justified in shooting it down.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:48 am

The Ground Beneath My Feet (2019) Marie Kreutzer 6/10
Damsel (2018) David & Nathan Zelllner

Repeat viewings

Sergeant York (1941) Howard Hawks 7/10
My Name is Julia Ross (1945) Joseph H. Lewis 7/10
Lilith (1964) Robert Rossen 8/10
Cat People (1942) Jacques Tourneur 7/10
Ring of Bright Water (1969) Jack Couffer 8/10
My Dog Skip (2000) Jay Russell 8/10
Room at the Top (1959) Jack Clayton 9/10
The Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Dziga Vertov 8/10
King of the Gypsies (1978) Frank Pierson 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 » Wed May 29, 2019 5:25 pm

Bizalom / Confidence (István Szabó, 1980) 9/10

Szabó's first film to crossover into the West was nominated for an Academy Award. Filmed in Hungary during the communist regime the story, set during WWII, is about people living in terror and in secret always on the lookout of being betrayed by a friend, a family member or by an acquaintance to the government when put under threat of their lives. This was the situation in the country when the film was made just as it was during the Nazi occupation in 1944 as Szabó draws a not very discrete parable. A woman discovers her husband works for the anti-Nazi resistance. For her protection she is placed in the house of an old couple where she poses as the wife of another resistance worker. Can she trust him? Can they both trust the couple who are their hosts? In the midst of life's uncertainty, paranoia and the terror of war they both fall in love. Szabó shoots the film in cramped spaces (probably due to budgetary constraints) adding to the sense of entrapment helped in great part by Lajos Koltai's superb lighting - he initially uses harsh blue toned lighting to signify a sense of mistrust which gradually grows into warmer hues as the couple grow closer. Eerie, visually chilly film works like a psychological thriller leading to a haunting finalé.

Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) 6/10

Godard's films took on a sudden turn for the absurd with this one as his experimental mode kicked in and he decided to throw at his audience everything and the kitchen sink. It all comes off the screen in a sort of rapid-fire smorgasbord of colour, noise and images, often very iconic and posed, with references to pop culture, literature, paintings, movies and music as characters implode with energy. There is constant movement, spontaneous singing, some characters speak directly to the camera while others act as a chorus on the confused goings-on with even a dead body placed within a scene and no explanation given. Maybe viewing the nondescript body the audience is supposed to understand the change in tone of the plot even though the main characters act totally nonchalant around it while continue doing their thing. Here Godard's premise is simple. A man (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his former lover (Anna Karina, who was married to Godard then) go on a cross-country ride chased in a hail of gunfire by anarchists - something to do with the woman having links to some underground military faction. Both are alienated from the world (he has left his bourgeoise wife) and find solace in each other - they end up on a deserted island where things end up in explosive fashion. Adding greatly to all this nonsense are the stunning crisp images created by Raoul Coutard's camera. Belmondo is deadpan and looks very cool throughout with a perpetual Gauloises hanging from his lower lip - a throwback to his role as the petty gangster in Godard's "À bout de souffle" - while Karina is an absolute delight dressed in simple chic 1960s fashion. With so much happening on screen you can't help staring at the images whizzing by but if you really think deep its all nothing but a director showing off and playing to the gallery.

Us (Jordan Peele, 2019) 8/10

Peele's deliciously wicked take on slasher films pits a black suburban family of four against their dopplegängers. The premise is strictly predictable but Peele manages to keep a smart balance between horror and comedy using hilarious references to pop culture throughout - the one on "Home Alone" comes twice and at just the right moment of a tense situation causing much needed laughs. The screenplay mixes elements of Hitchcock and Cronenberg with enough false endings to populate many films. Lupita Nyong'o gets to do what Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland did back in their Warner Brother days - play against her twin. The premise does not shy away from using kids as killing machines who quickly get into the spirit of survival breathlessly counting and comparing their kills. Put away your intellect and sit back and enjoy this rollercoaster ride of horror. And yes, there is a twist ending. Of course there had to be. After all smart people make sure there is room for a sequel.

Murder by Decree (Bob Clark, 1979) 7/10

Jack-the-Ripper is out and about the foggy gaslit streets of the East End in London and Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) is out to get him with a little help from the droll Dr. Watson (James Mason). With the police (Frank Finlay & David Hemmings) reluctant to involve the detective it soon becomes evident that there might be a cover-up involving someone higher up on the social register. As with all such films there is also the fascination of seeing Victorian London courtesy of the production designers who go all out recreating cobblestone streets, brothels and madhouses. With Clark at the helm he ensures a heavy dose of Canadian talent on view starting of course with the great Plummer who imbues the detective with all his familiar tics. He is ably matched by Mason who plays Watson as a staunch royalist who, as the case proceeds, is horrified to discover that the cover-up could involve royalty. No period film set in England at the time would be complete without an actor-knight or two about - Sir John Gielgud plays the PM Lord Salisbury and Sir Anthony Quayle plays the Scotland Yard commissioner. Also on board are Canadians Donald Sutherland as a wacky psychic and Susan Clark and Genevieve Bujold as two ladies who may know more than a thing or two about the mysterious murders. Atmospheric outing was shot at Shepperton studios the same time as Ridley Scott's "Alien" which was also about certain murders of the macabre variety. The film is a bit overlong but great fun nevertheless.

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

Postby Reza » Wed May 29, 2019 5:23 pm

Kyoto / Twin Sisters of Kyoto (Noboru Nakamura, 1963) 7/10

Slow moving film is more a celebration of Japanese asthetics and culture than the main plot which revolves around the sudden discovery of a sibling. Nakamura's camera explores Japanese architecture - ancient houses with delicate thin walls incorporating trees, plants and flowers set within exquisitely planned interior courtyards - parks with ponds full of lotus, various religious festivals at shinto shrines, the geisha quarters and forests around Koyoto which for eleven centuries was the imperial capital and has remained Japan's cultural center. The main plot, based on nobel winner Yasunari Kawabata's book, revolves around a 20-year old girl who has been adopted by a couple and has been led to believe she was stolen when an infant and raised by her childless foster parents. By chance she comes across a lookalike who turns out to be her twin sister who lost both her parents when she was an infant and was raised in poverty. In old Japanese culture twins were considered a bad omen so the parents abandoned one child who was found and raised by the childless couple. They hid this fact from their daughter so she would not grow up feeling shame for having been abandoned as a child. Thrilled to discover this sibling she tries to bring her into her life only to find the sister attracts the attention of her own suitor. Superbly acted film deals with love, longing, suppressed desires and sacrifice. Nominated for an Oscar in the foreign film category the film lost the award to Federico Fellini's "8 1/2".

Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise, 1959) 9/10

Sour, angry, hardbitten look at the hidden underbelly of New York in this exceptional noir. An ex-cop and convict (Ed Begley) comes up with a "fool-proof" plan for a bank heist. He tries to persuade two men to join him but both are reluctant - a Jazz musician (Harry Belafonte) who is reeling under gambling debts owed to a mobster breathing down his neck and a bigoted ex-con war veteran (Robert Ryan) who has been reduced to living off his mistress (Shelley Winters). Both under great duress agree to participate in the heist which gets botched. Superbly directed film - Wise uses distorted camera angles to create a surreal atmosphere - was one of french director-auteur Jean-Pierre Melville's favourite films. A moody jazz score and chilly black and white cinematography add to the bleak plot. Both Belafonte and Ryan create sparks as partners caught up not only in the conflict of a heist gone wrong but also hating each other with a vengeance. Winters and Gloria Grahame, in a cameo appearance, both create sharply delineated characters. The screenplay (by the blacklisted Abraham Polonsky) uses the simmering racial tension to create a drama that literally explodes in a finalé taken from the classic James Cagney gangster film "White Heat". This was one of the last official noirs to come out of Hollywood and a reminder that director Wise was certainly a name to be reckoned with especially when his name got tarnished over time thanks to the big budget musicals he directed ("West Side Story", "The Sound of Music", "Star") during the following decade and which eventually became his epitaph.

Pink String and Sealing Wax (Robert Hamer, 1945) 6/10

In Victorian Brighton an abusive pub owner's tarty wife (Googie Withers) manipulates the infatuated son (Gordon Jackson) of a puritanical pharmacist (Mervyn Johns) to obtain strychnine to bump off her husband. Contrived melodrama, based on a play, has the brilliant Googie Withers - all heaving bosom with a delicious sneer plastered across her face - who gave bad girl Margaret Lockwood a run for the money in 1940s British cinema. The bitchy interplay between the jaded female barflies is hilarious while the rigid Victorian household of the pharmacist is like a ticking time bomb as his brood of kids and wife thteaten to unbend the strict house rules. The film goes to prove that Ealing studios could look beyond comedies and come up with some nasty noir-toned dramas as well.


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