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

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:46 am

A Successful Calamity (John G. Adolfi, 1932) 6/10

Corny if affecting story about the importance of family-life. A rich financier (George Arliss) returns from Europe after a year to find his much younger wife (Mary Astor), son and daughter entwined in a busy social life with no time for him. To teach them a lesson he pretends that his business has been ruined and they are paupers. To his surprise his family and staff rally round to help him. Dramatic fluff is carried by Arliss with a twinkle in his eye and witty repartee. Astor is a lovely presence playing a none to bright society dame who shows unexpected depth. Randolph Scott appears in one of his early roles. Old fashioned film with a message.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:45 am

Women He's Undressed (Gillian Armstrong, 2015) 7/10

Orry-Kelly moves from a small town in Australia to New York in the late 1920s. A talented painter he finds work on Broadway designing sets and costumes while rooming with a cockney - Arthur Leach, an aspiring actor who broke into movies as Cary Grant. The two became lovers with Kelly creating Grant's dapper look. In Hollywood Kelly joined Warner Brothers and eventually became the head of the studio's costume department creating wardrobes on film for Bette Davis, Kay Francis, Barbara Stanwyck, Ingrid Bergman ("Casablanca") among almost 300 others. Armstrong's documentary is fascinating when it sticks to it's subject (with Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Ann Roth, Leonard Maltin and others providing sharp commentary on the man and his designs) but keeps taking quirky turns with the introduction of an Australian actor impersonating Kelly who keeps getting maudlin over his personal life - Cary Grant left him for Randolph Scott followed by five marriages all of which ended in divorce. There is a wistful quality of remourse over the affair with Grant (who later told him not to mention their relationship in his memoirs) along with a feeling of satisfaction over the fact that Grant was a pallbearer at his funeral. After the War Kelly was fired from the studio due to alcohol addiction after which he freelanced at Paramount, RKO and MGM winning three Oscars during the 1950s for "An American in Paris" (1951), "Les Girls" (1957) and "Some Like It Hot" (1959). His amazing designs for Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis (dressed in drag) in the latter film - both actors especially requested Kelly to create their female costumes - and the two iconic nude dresses he created for Marilyn Monroe which exposed her breasts on camera all created a sensation. The documentary is a fitting tribute to the life of a difficult man whose genius will remain forever etched in classic films.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:45 am

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Ryan Murphy, Nelson Cragg, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Daniel Minahan, Matt Bomer, 2017) 8/10

In 1997 Fashion designer Gianni Versace (Èdgar Ramirez) is shot in cold blood on the doorstep of his Miami mansion by spree killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). The screenplay covers the lives of both men during the period 1989-97 - how they met briefly (which the Versace family claim is a lie) leading upto the assassination. Versace's business and love life gets a look-in with his incredible success in the world of fashion alongside his longtime partner Antonio D'Amico (Rickie Martin) who is not only his lover but also his pimp, his active sex life involving orgies and his loving yet tense relationship with his sister Donatella (Penélope Cruz). But the real story here is about the crimes of Andrew Cunanan, a con artist and serial killer who was able to evade capture for so long - the police are led on a merry dance. He is a charming, manipulative psychopath who uses sex to get what he wants, brutally killing various men along the way. His much older lover Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell), a rich real estate developer married for 38 years to a woman (Judith Light) who is in the perfume business, is gagged, bound and stabbed viciously. He also violently kills his former lover David Madson (Cody Fern) and a former acquaintance Jeff Trail (Finn Wittrock). The film superbly captures the time and place - sunny Miami and it's milieu - placing these characters in a world of pulsating nightclubs, the threat of AIDS, Versace's opulent lifestyle and his fabulous mansion (built in the Mediterranean Revival style) and chic pool with the designer's Medusa logo placed all over the house. The entire cast is superb with Criss, Ramirez, Wittrock, Cruz and Light winning much deserved Emmy nominations. The film is interesting from the historic perspective and as a mystery thriller.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:45 am

The Meg (Jon Turtelraub, 2018) 7/10

Ridiculous, cheesy and over-the-top summer popcorn film is yet another "Jaws" ripoff. This time round the screenplay digs up a long extinct predator - the 75 foot Megalodon, a species of shark - which lived 26 million years ago and was a ferocious killing machine capable of chewing up whales - bone and all. Surprise surprise, it appears it was never extinct after all and it's out to get a group of scientists who have penetrated the depths of the ocean and beyond and disturbed the giant shark's habitat. And to the rescue comes Jason Statham in all his sleek and bald kickass glory. The formulaic plot goes through the familiar beat with a disparate group (the screenplay throws in every ethnic group so as not to annoy the boringly vocal movie-going American public) of humans that one by one becomes bait for the angry "Meg". The film is a series of set pieces where we get to see the tussle between man vs beast - a tense undersea rescue, an attack out on the vast ocean involving a boat, several vulnerable moments with solitary cast members alone in the water with the shark bearing down on them at full throttle, the beast vs machinery (boats, submarines, helicopters) and the oft repeated sequence set on a crowded beach of summer revellers as the shark glides under their legs. Oh yes, we also have a cute dog and a precocious kid in peril. Cockney Statham and his adversary (courtesy of pretty lousy CGI) give this guilty pleasure project enough of a kick to keep you hanging onto your seat as they both go through their expected motions which results in a fun ride at the movies.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 am

The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (Herbert Wilcox, 1958) 5/10

Old fashioned courtroom drama - a scientist (Anthony Quayle) is accused of murdering an agent (Zsa Zsa Gabor) who is posing as his wife while both are on a visit to London to help a spy agency locate a defector. Silly plot is basically an excuse for Wilcox's wife, Anna Neagle, to play a brilliant lawyer who defends the accused. Quayle, known for his superb voice and diction, adopts a silly American accent playing his role in a subdued manner. Gabor brings her usual glamour to the proceedings while Neagle provides old fashioned star appeal. Pity the screenplay is so shoddy.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 am

The Secret Scripture (Jim Sheridan, 2017) 5/10

Sheridan's ambitious adaptation of Sebastian Barry's novel (which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize) comes up short. The sprawling story gets condensed into what is basically picture postcard views of County Kilkenny in Ireland. The plot is a melange of melodrama involving the Irish "troubles", WWII and the inhuman treatment of a woman at the hands of a patriarchal society. The story alternates between WWII and the end of the 20th century. During the present Rose (Vanessa Redgrave), an old woman, refuses to leave a sanitarium which has been her prison for 40 years incarcerated for having killed her newborn baby. A psychiatrist (Eric Bana) tries to evaluate her case and she slowly reveals her life story insisting that she never killed her baby. During the war orphan Rose (Rooney Mara), while living with her aunt, attracts the attention of assorted men in the village - a Catholic priest (Theo James), a Protestant (Jack Reynor) who leaves to join the RAF and an anti-British Catholic (Aiden Turner) - causing consternation amongst the villagers. Banished by her aunt to a deserted farmhouse outside the village she saves the life of the RAF pilot who has bailed from his plane. They fall in love and secretly get married. He is caught and killed and she, labeled a nymphomaniac by the priest, is put away in a mental hospital and subjected to electric shock therapy. The story gets more and more melodramatic involving scenes of an escape, swimming out to sea, hiding in a cove and giving birth when she may or may not have stoned the baby to death. The mystery is resolved during the present and involves an amazing coincidence which in a rather far fetched manner brings closure to Rose's life. The film comes to life during the tranquil moments with solitary images of Mara on cliff tops, on the beach, walking through empty country roads and through fields of golden-hued heather. The actress is very good during all these scenes but flails about helplessly during the more dramatic, over-the-top sequences. The film has outstanding production design with sequences that are stunningly shot by cinematographer Mikhail Krichman evoking images from epics like "Ryan's Daughter", "Out of Africa" and "The English Patient". Redgrave is heartbreaking as she captures the confusion and frailty of a woman subjected to repeated horrors who is left with only a fragment of memory. The film loses points for it's rushed denouement and overall rambling structure with events plodding along, unlikely coincidences taking place including a twist ending you can spot a mile away. The film is a missed opportunity and may have worked better as a miniseries for television.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:43 am

The Miracle Season (Sean McNamara, 2018) 5/10

When the star volleyball player - Caroline "Line" Found - of an Iowa high school is killed in an accident her best friend rallies the team members to get back into the game so they can win the trophy two years in a row. Sappy, tear inducing sports melodrama is based on a true story with the predictable win and a rousing rendition by Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" on the soundtrack. A rather bland cast of youngsters is bolstered by Helen Hunt as the team's tough coach and William Hurt as the late player's bereft dad who also loses his wife to cancer right after the daughter's death. This is strictly tv-movie fare and you will need a box of tissues to get you through the film.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:41 am

Singapore Woman (Jean Negulesco, 1941) 7/10

Atmospheric B-film set on a rubber plantation in Singapore is a slick romantic melodrama - jinxed woman (Brenda Marshall) comes between a farmer (David Bruce) and his bland fiancé (Virginia Field). Marshall is exceptional as the tough but booze soaked society girl who blames her life's downward spiral onto a jinx. Falling in love turns things around but fate in the form of the past holds a nasty surprise for her. Low budget programmer throws in everything - a heavy monsoon, an attacking crocodile, a torch singer and bar room brawls. The film is superbly shot by Ted McCord and it began director Negulesco's career even though mid-production he was fired by the studio.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:41 am

Nothing Like a Dame (Roger Michell, 2018) 8/10

Four old friends sit around a table in a garden sipping tea and reminiscing about their friendship, careers and husbands. Funny and extremely poignant documentary has four great actresses - all dames - Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright, Judi Dench - gather at the home of the late Sir Laurence Olivier with his widow, Joan Plowright (now blind), hosting her three equally famous friends for a delightful tête-à-tête full of humour as they all make fun of themselves, laughing about their old-age infirmities of failing eyesight - "between the four of us we only have three eyes" - and deafness. With great wit they talk of past projects (fantastic clips are shown from their careers on stage, television and in films), co-stars are discussed including a detailed discussion about Olivier - "he was very difficult" - who had interacted with all four actresses during different phases of their careers. Dame Maggie's ascerbic wit is in full view as she describes Olivier slapping her hard during a stage performance of "Othello" and of her equally difficult on and off-stage relationship with her ex-husband, the late Sir Robert Stephens, when they were both considered the "golden couple" of stage. Dame Judi talks about how Sir John Gielgud dismissed her way of speaking while being directed by him on stage and her stardom in film which came when she was in her fifties. Dame Eileen talks about her childhood and ex-husband, Julian Glover. And Dame Joan remembers playing Olivier's daughter followed by their marriage. This is a charming celebration of the careers of four iconic actresses , their wicked wit and of the strength and longevity of their friendship which began during the 1950s when all four were fledgling young aspiring stage actors. Great fun.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:41 am

Sacred Games (Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane, 2018) 10/10

Riveting 8-part adaptation of Vikram Chandra's pulpy thriller novel explores Mumbai's underworld and the corrupt machinations of the city's police force. The plot revolves around a threat received by a Sikh police officer (Saif Ali Khan) about the destruction of the city of Mumbai in 25 days from a notorious long disappeared gangster who commits suicide when confronted. As the investigation of the suicide continues a number of people - a politician, various cops and an actress - worry about disclosures related to their involvement with the crook. The story, via flashbacks, also explores the rise of the gangster (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) from a poor Brahmin in 1985 who arrives in Mumbai and rises up the ladder to become a feared gangster. The film superbly captures the crime ridden city in horrific detail - the violent deaths, the profane street language, religious intolerance, prostitution, explicit sex, politics of the country - and is a sharp contrast to the films coming out of Bollywood depicting colour, joy, songs and dances. Superbly directed film - Kashyap helmed all the scenes with the gangster while Motwane handled the present day scenes with the cop - is brilliantly shot mostly at night with a close eye on production design, sharp editing and ominous score. This is superb film making and a high point in both director's careers. A must-see.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:40 am

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Ol Parker, 2018) 6/10

Forced sequel is strictly an excuse for the cast to get together and have a ball singing the songs of Abba on an island in Greece - although the film has been shot in Croatia this time round. Donna (Meryl Streep) is dead so the plot flits between the present and past. Her daughter (Amanda Seyfried) has renovated the hotel and invited the "gang" (Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Stellan Skarsgård) for a party while in flashback we see the younger version of Donna (Lily James) as she meets her three boyfriends and arrives in Greece to the dilapitated hotel on an idyllic island. The film's highlight is Cher, as Donna's estranged mother, who arrives to grace the party at the end and in true drag-queen-style sings "Fernando" (as a duet with Andy Garcia). And via movie magic Donna (Meryl Streep) gets to sing "My Love, My Life" with her younger self and daughter followed by the entire cast, led by Cher, singing "Super Trouper" at the finalè. It's all about the songs in the end and if you are a fan of Abba then you will be in hog heaven.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:40 am

Book Club (Bill Holderman, 2018) 6/10

The lazy screenplay not withstanding - four women of an advanced age get all hot and bothered after reading the trashy "Fifty Shades of Grey" at their book club meeting. The longtime chums are a divorced high-powered judge (Candice Bergen), a recent widow (Diane Keaton), a chef (Mary Steenburgen) and the over-aged sexpot hotelier (Jane Fonda). The four stars bring years of experience to their parts which is not saying much as each can easily play their part while in a trance. The subject of sex and men figures prominently. The widow meets a laid-back pilot (Andy Garcia), the judge enters the field of online dating coming up with candidates (Richard Dreyfuss & Wallace Shawn), the chef tries to jump-start her sex life with her retired husband (Craig T. Nelson) and the sexpot decides to shack up with a former beau (Don Johnson). Silly fluff allows the four stars (aged 65-80) to shine - Keaton is amusingly high-strung, Steenburgen charmingly folksy, Bergen dripping dry wit and Fonda - dressed in tight outfits, thigh-high boots and swilling booze - nudges the other three to let loose their inhibitions and embrace life.......again. Paper thin comedy manages to work despite the clichés.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:39 am

Walk Softly, Stranger (Robert Stevenson, 1950) 8/10

Small-time crook and compulsive gambler (Joseph Cotten) ingratiates himself in a small town charming his landlady (the delightful Spring Byington) and a rich, beautiful but handicapped heiress (Alida Valli). The two lonely people form a close bond which gets shattered when the man's past catches up and the cops come after him. The film's release was delayed to cash in on the two stars' incredible chemistry in "The Third Man" and their teaming here is just as melancholy with both stars giving low key performances. Moody film is a mix of film noir and romantic melodrama.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:39 am

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mike Newell, 2018) 8/10

Typical quirky film by Mike Newell starting with its tongue twisting title and encompassing an old fashioned plot which alternates between romance, a mystery and tragedy. Sumptuous production that perfectly captures post-WWII Britain - the story alternates via flashbacks between scenes set on Nazi occupied Guernsey in 1941 and in London right after the war in 1946. A London writer (Lily James) is intrigued to learn about a book club on the island of Guernsey with a long and loopy name. She forms a bond with the members via letters and when she arrives on the island she discovers the origin of the book club (formed on the spur of the moment during a tense encounter with the Nazis), meets the quaint and somewhat eccentric book club society members (Tom Courtenay, Penelope Wilton, Katherine Parkinson, Michiel Huisman), discovers a horrific secret involving the disappearance during the war of one member (Jessica Brown Findlay) all of which leaves her in a state of flux which alters her life. The film comes alive during all the scenes set on Guernsey - the stunning locations of Devon and Cornwall were used for the shoot - with thatched cottages on rolling green hills, idyllic tranquil villages with cobbled streets, high cliffs and the crashing waves of the ocean. Charming feel-good romantic drama about friendship, a study of survival during the brutal war years and the love of literature which also incorporates little known history about the Nazi invasion of the two British Channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey in 1940-45.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:39 am

Teefa in Trouble (Ahsan Rahim, 2018) 1/10

Extremely painful action comedy with hideously unfunny jokes aimed at the lowest common denominator. A small-time crook (Ali Zafar), from the inner city of Lahore, is hired by a businessman to go to Poland to kidnap the daughter (Maya Ali) of his childhood friend (Javed Sheikh). The girl's father had refused to give her hand in marriage to his friend's son who he feels is a total moron. The outlandish plot involves a chase on the rooftops of the old city in Lahore, more chases on the streets of Warsaw with the film's star acting "kewl", getting into street brawls in slow motion and falling in love with the girl who is happy to be kidnapped as it allows her to get away from the marriage proposal her rich gangster father has arranged. Technically the film is well made and equals any of its Bollywood counterparts with songs and dances. Unfortunately the stupid screenplay is agog with non-stop silly and repetitive gags. Ali Zafar and Maya Ali look good together on the dance floor. Pity they are stuck in a film riddled with clichés.


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