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

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:47 am

Uncertain Glory (Raoul Walsh, 1944) 7/10

One of Flynn's many WWII themed films but the least known and one which he produced as well. The story is low on action and concentrates on the moral dilemma of a condemned french career criminal (Errol Flynn) who escapes execution when the British drop bombs on occupied France. He is pursued and caught by a relentless cop (Paul Lukas). The wily prisoner convinces his patriotic captor to allow him to give himself up to the Gestapo as the saboteur who has recently blown up a bridge against which the germans plan to execute 100 frenchmen. Secretly he has no intention of going through with the plan but interaction with the townfolk and a girl make him think otherwise. Typical propaganda film has a heavy dose of patriotism to feed the public during those war years. Flynn makes a cynical but dashing anti-hero in this slow but compelling story.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:47 am

Private Detective 62 (Michael Curtiz, 1933) 6/10

Snappy little Warner Bros programmer which utilizes its contract players and technicians to good effect - director Curtiz, cinematographer Tony Gaudio, who uses shadows to create suspense, and leading actor William Powell who specialized in playing sophisticated sleuths was just a year away from becoming a huge star courtesy of "The Thin Man". A disgraced diplomat (William Powell) returns home to find himself without a job so on the spur of the moment joins a second rate detective agency. Soon he finds himself mixed up (and in love) with a socialite gambler (Margaret Lindsay) who is involved with blackmail and murder. Starts off slow but picks up steam as the two leads create sparks courtesy of witty dialogue. Pre-code drama is nothing special but has an effortlessly charming performance by Powell.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:46 am

These Wilder Years (Roy Rowland, 1955) 6/10

Low key but effective social drama about adoption which has at it's center the first ever teaming of Cagney and Stanwyck very late in their careers. A steel tycoon (James Cagney), having achieved all in life, decides to search for the illegitimate son he gave up during his youth. He faces a gentle clash from the sympathetic head of an orphanage (Barbara Stanwyck) who refuses to divulge the whereabouts of the child put up for adoption. He hires a lawyer (Walter Pidgeon) to fight his case but loses only to find himself getting close to a young teenage girl at the orphanage who is about to give birth to a baby. The stars both give restrained performances keeping their natural toughness simmering beneath the surface. Poignant drama with a message.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:46 am

Loving Pablo (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2017) 5/10

Glossy, pulpy and superficial screen biography of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar narrated by his flashy journalist mistress Virginia Vallejo. The roles are played broadly but with a sense of fun by Javier Bardem, sporting a prosthetic neck and huge paunch, and Penélope Cruz dressed in colourful 1980s fashions and wigs. The film uses her voiceover, while she is in protection with a DEA agent (Peter Sarsgaard), to describe her meeting and infatuation with the druglord as we see through her eyes Escobar who rose from the slums and was closely involved in government corruption during his reign of terror in Colombia - he made millions from selling cocaine but was like Robin Hood to the poor in the slums of his country whom he helped find a better life. The film details the warfare between the cartel and the government - teenagers from the slums are trained to kill cops, politicians and ministers and in turn for each cop killed the government executes ten teenage boys. Mass murder and torture was the order of the day as Escobar goes from strength to strength. The film has a tabloid feel to it with the decision to film it in the english language a major detriment forcing both stars to mumble their dialogue with their accented english. Despite this the film belongs to Bardem who gives a flamboyant performance using his ample girth a workout often keeping his shirt unbuttoned and during one sequence allowing himself to be photographed running nude through the jungle with his ass flapping all over the place. Crisply shot film is a feast for the eyes especially with the delectable Cruz strutting around in high heels and garish costumes. Stick to the tv series "Narcos" for a more authentic version of the story but watch this strictly if you are a fan of Bardem and Cruz.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:46 am

Adrift (Baltasar Kormákur, 2018) 6/10

True story about two avid sailors (Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin), both free spirits, who meet cute, fall in love and go on a journey that leads them straight into a catastrophic hurricane. Tale of survival goes through the motions - a sinking boat, a hurt but plucky woman battling the odds and saving the life of her badly wounded fiancé. The screenplay moves back and forth between the aftermath of the storm and the couple meeting and their courtship. A long sequence deviates from the actual story which involves the woman's hallucinations. The relentless storm sequence paints a horrific picture with the two actors getting an extreme physical battering as they are lashed by the waves and get thrown into the rough sea. Both stars give gut wrenching performances with Woodley (who also produced the film) mainly carrying the film on her shoulders as she gets to show quiet strength during the moments where she is all alone and must prove her mettle as a sailor in order to survive. Robert Richardson's superb cinematography is also a major plus.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:45 am

Race 3 (Remo D'Souza, 2018) 1/10

The series has been on a continuous downward spiral with this one the absolute pits. It follows the usual formula - top stars acting and looking cool, slick action scenes (of the absurd variety) filmed in slow motion with no visible tear to the actors' designer wear or any blood to the skin, characters shot against sleek buildings created via CGI, sexy production numbers - the one involving a pole is a doozy as Jacqueline Fernandez attempts to fornicate with it while dangling and sliding upside down - guns that get fondled by both men and women, characters double and tripple crossing each other and last but certainly not least is the star himself - Salman Khan - in all his stiff and dull glory. No need to discuss the plot - there is none - as the film just consists of beautifully shot images of stunts and good looking actors - Anil Kapoor looks great in designer suits, Bobby Deol makes a screen comeback, two newcomers (Daisy Shah, Saqib Saleem) bicker and kick-ass while Jacqueline Fernandez looks hot throughout. Watch this film with the sound off (preferably while drinking neat vodka on the rocks) but crank it up when the stars start to dance and gyrate. This has to be one of the worst films out of Bollywood. But do check out that pole dance and keep yourself well sated with alcohol and you might have as much fun as the actors on screen.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:45 am

The Bookshop (Isabel Coixet, 2018) 3/10

Deathly slow film about the love of books set in provincial England circa 1958. Coixet superbly captures the atmosphere of a small town and it's inhabitants with genteel digs at class structure. A widow (Emily Mortimer) purchases an old decrepit house in a small East Anglian town (the film was shot in Ireland with interiors in Spain) and opens a bookshop. The lady of the manor (Patricia Clarkson) tries to have her evicted as she wants the property for herself. Helping her in the tussle is the town eccentric (Bill Nighy) who is also a lover of books and is her sounding board for the type of books she wants to sell - Vladimir Nabakov's "Lolita" causes a sensation with the townfolk. The drama is presented in a reserved manner inducing sleep. The story is based on the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald and manages to beautifully capture the time and place - one can actually smell the musty books in the shop - with superb production values. Pity the story is too sparse to generate any feeling for the characters or their dilemma.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:44 am

Mubarakan (Anees Bazmee, 2017) 1/10

Slickly made but hideously unfunny comedy with a plot that resorts to Bollywood cinema of the 1980s. Twin brothers (both played by Arjun Kapoor) are raised in separate cities - the hip one loves and romances Ileana D'Cruz in London while the straitlaced one, who wears a turban, lives in Punjab and loves Neha Sharma. Complications ensue once their rambunctious family members arrange a marriage for both twins to nubile Athiya Shetty. The twins seek the help of their uncle (Anil Kapoor) to get out of the jam. Typically convoluted plot suffers from lousy songs, too many characters, over-the-top performances - Anil Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah are the only amusing members of the cast - and the dreaded problem of over length. Skip this trashy film.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:44 am

La mortadella / Lady Liberty (Mario Monicelli, 1971) 4/10

Monicelli's "Commedia all'Italiana" tries to do for the United States just like his caustic screenplays hilariously exposed Italian customs. Only this time round he has come up with a rather corny premise with it's only saving grace his leading lady. An Italian woman (Sophia Loren) arrives at JFK airport and causes an international incident. She is carrying a large Mortadella as a wedding gift for her fiancé which the customs attempt to confiscate. When she refuses to part with it a manic reporter (William Devane) uses the incident to create headlines for his paper making her into a media darling. The screenplay touches on a number of quirks - the American government's phobia for any negative press image, workaholics who need booze to combat stress followed by the use of uppers to keep them going and a good natured dig at American capitalism and culture. Statuesque Loren keeps this fluff moving smoothly along and the only good thing that comes out of this project is the teaming of the star and director. Pity the end result is a bore although it is interesting to see Danny De Vito and Susan Sarandon in bit parts so early in their careers.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:43 am

The Duchess (Saul Dibb, 2008) 6/10

The true story of 18th century aristocrat, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (Keira Knightley), plays out like a Bollywood soap opera. At a young age her mother (Charlotte Rampling) arranges a marriage to the 5th Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) who spends more time with his dogs than with her. His only desire is for a male heir but instead ends up with three daughters one of whom is a bastard from a previous liaison with a maid. A vivacious and outspoken socialite, author and activist she accepts being the chattel of her husband while ignoring all his infidelities even though she finally produces a male heir with him. She overcomes her lonely existence by having an affair (and a daughter) with the young politician and future Prime Minister of England, Charles Grey (Dominc West) - the Earl Grey tea was named after him - and befriending Lady Elizabeth Foster (Hayley Atwell), who through a complicated set of events ends up in a ménage à trois with the Duke and Duchess. Despite all her "troubles" she led a highly social life and was fêted by royalty and intellectuals and created a sensation as a style icon with her clothes and wigs (the film's costumes won an Oscar). An interesting bit of trivia: The Duchess was the great-great-great-grand-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales. Their lives, centuries apart, have often been compared during contemporary times as tragic.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:43 am

The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006) 8/10

Princess Diana's death in a car crash in 1997 was the catalyst for the Royal family, and in particular for Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren), in making them realise how out of touch they were with the true sentiments of the British public. Through centuries of rule the Monarchy moved at it's own stiff upper lip pace and it took a tragedy and a "gentle" push by the new Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen), to make the Royal family break their own rules to suit their public. After a much delayed response the Queen, along with Prince Phillip (James Cromwell) and the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms) return to London from Balmoral, flags are allowed to be flown at half mast at all the palaces in the country and a public funeral is hastily arranged complete with a service at Westminister Abbey with Diana's coffin followed on foot by the entire Royal family. This was a first for a person who was not an HRH, a title she was stripped off after her divorce from Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) a year earlier. Peter Morgan's astute screenplay almost plays out the scenes like a thriller with the Queen sitting on a time bomb waiting to go off. The film's success rests on the extremely moving performance of Helen Mirren. She plays the Queen with a great deal of dignity - her chilly stillness is offset by moments of quick wit and humour - and as the film progresses the character transforms as she seemingly "gets" what the public saw in Diana which she and her family failed to do. Mirren won a richly deserved Academy award for this performance helped in great part by the accurate "look" created by the wigs and costumes. The film also benefits greatly with archival footage of Princess Diana - the "people's princess" - interspersed throughout.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:42 am

Mrs Harris (Phyllis Nagy, 2005) 8/10

"School headmistress shoots in cold blood the Scarsdale Diet doctor". So ran the headlines in 1980 followed by a sensational media trial in court. This is the second screen adaptation of the story but this one also covers the relationship between both characters leading up to the killing. The first version, with Ellen Burstyn, covered just the trial. Jean Harris (Annette Bening), a divorced mother of two boys and a headmistress at a girl's school, meets famed bachelor cardiologist Herman Tarnower (Ben Kingsley) and is swept off her feet. The doctor, an unabashed womanizer who would also go on to become the bestselling author of the Scarsdale Diet, proposes marriage during their 14 year relationship but backs out just before their nuptials. Through the course of the relationship she is continuously distraught over his infidelity and suffers mental health issues for which the doctor prescribes her pills - both uppers and downers. On that fateful day in 1980 she drives 5 hours to his home in order to commit suicide in front of him. During a struggle with the gun the doctor is shot 4 times causing death. During the trial she claims it was an accidental death but the jury finds her guilty and she is sentenced to prison for life. Superbly acted film has various friends and associates (played by Mary McDonnell, Frances Fisher, John Rubinstein, Brett Butler, Phillip Baker Hall, Larry Drake, Ellen Burstyn) commenting on the two characters and their interaction with them during the period of the relationship. Bening, who has often played caustic and difficult women, manages to portray the character with a lot of sympathy. Kingsley is perfectly cast as the preening cad exuding charm who enjoys the attention of the opposite sex and can't help jumping into bed with them. Both stars were nominated for the Emmy award as were Cloris Leachman playing the doctor's equally caustic sister. Inexplicably Ellen Burstyn managed to get a nod as well for her 11 second cameo appearance as one of the doctor's ex-lovers. The film provides amusing camp by brilliantly using songs from the period and which are placed on the soundtrack during crucial moments in the story. This is a fascinating look at a deteriorating relationship which the two stars bring to life as they grapple with each other through bouts of witty sadism.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:42 am

They Won't Forget (Mervyn LeRoy, 1937) 8/10

A sensational (and rigged) trial ensues when a young girl (Lana Turner) is found murdered in a small southern town. The suspects include a black janitor and the girl's school teacher (Edward Norris) who is a northerner (during the actual 1913 murder of 13-year old Mary Phagun the man was of the jewish persuasion which this film omits). The strutting D.A. (a flamboyant Claude Rains), looking at a senatorial seat, convicts the man on circumstantial evidence and sentences him to life imprisonment. Later he is kidnapped by citizens of the town and lynched and murdered. Hard-hitting B-film, sharply directed by LeRoy, exposes lawlessness, hypocricy and hatred in the self-proclaimed land of the free. The film is more famous today for helping to launch the career of Lana Turner who gets a memorable scene where she walks down a street wearing a tight sweater. The film's best performance is by Gloria Dickson who plays the victim's helpless and traumatized wife who gets to make an impassioned speech (Robert Rossen was one of the screenwriters) railing against the injustice and telling off the D.A. about his role in causing her husband's death. A small but fascinating little film that manages to make strong points about prejudice.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:38 am

Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018) 2/10

Ludicrous horror film gets full marks for the audacity of it's images. Too bad all the images have a pungent whiff of deja vu. Didn't the studio have the sense to tell director and screenwriter Ari Aster that "less is more" and he should never have been allowed to present this piece of claptrap which is nothing but a "greatest hits" version of the horror genre. It's shocking that this film is being taken seriously by critics and being touted for awards. Have these critics been asleep for the last fifty years? Have they not seen "Rosemary's Baby", "The Exorcist", "The Wicker Man", "The Omen" or even second rate films like "Burnt Offerings" and "The Amityville Horror"? Clearly not. A matriarch dies and soon things start to go bump in the house causing mayhem for the family she leaves behind - her daughter and husband (Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne) and their two kids (Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro). Soon we get a decapitation with a view of the head buzzing with flies, acute body distortions, hysterical seancés, characters levitating and being burnt alive, overheated dream sequences and a lot of very loud screaming and wailing. The latter is courtesy of Toni Collette who gives a no-holds-barred physical performance consisting of hideous facial tics, body contortions, excessive shouting and hand waving. It has to be one of the worst performances ever by an actress. It is beyond camp and one wonders if she was insane to have participated in this messy film - one that is totally devoid of scares although it tries its utmost to create a feeling of dread via it's loud score, camera placement and sound design. Awful, awful film that should be avoided and every critic who has compared this film to "The Exorcist" should be shot.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:55 am

Probably my last posting for about 5 to 6 weeks as I'm on holidays (which is odd to even say because I no longer work anyway) and it's unlikely I'll see anything much whilst I'm away.

Actually, the new films below were all viewed on the flight(s). They (Singapore Airlines) had a great selection to choose from and the picture and sound quality were excellent with good sized screens. Wish what I selected had been better but all that viewing made the journey seem much shorter and besides it will probably be the only opportunity for me to ever see some of the films.

The Seagull (2018) Michael Meyer 4/10
Please Stand By (2018) Ben Lewin 3/10
Backstabbing for Beginners (2018) Per Fly 4/10
La Villa (2017) Robert Guédiguian 4/10
The Prayer (2018) Cedric Kahn 4/10
Anon (2018) Andrew Nicol 2/10

Repeating viewings

Random Harvest (1942) Mervyn LeRoy 10/10
The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) Jeremy Kagan 7/10
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.


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