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 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:20 pm

Marley & Me (David Frankel, 2008) 6/10

Had no clue about the ending so it came as a shock. Kept comparing Marley to Oscar who is much more well behaved thanks to his trainer. The dog here is a hurricane of bad behaviour and is bought by a couple (Owen Wilson & Jennifer Aniston) as a prelude to starting their family of which they eventually produce three. Marley remains center stage throughout with his outrageous antics - they try training him but the trainer (a ravaged Kathleen Turner) gives up immediately. The ending is hideously sad and beats the similarly blubbery last scenes in both "Wuthering Heights" and "Love Story" where both Merle Oberon and Ali MacGraw don't hold a candle to Marley's dignified but tear inducing departure.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:19 pm

Wonder (Stephen Chbosky, 2017) 5/10

Manipulative, heart-tugging subject has been seen to death in far better films both on the big and small screen - though it's been more of a staple on the small. For me the main plot held no interest - small kid (Jacob Trembley) born with a facial disfigurement has a hard time adjusting to the jeers of fellow classmates in school - kids (and many grownups) give more importance to "looks" and fail to see a person from the inside. I instead rooted for the kid's older sister and her problems in high school - her best friend dumps her, she gains a boyfriend (woah he's African-American and it's totally cool with everyone - the film does not go "that" route as the plot is mainly about the kid), her audition for the school play and particularly her testy relationship with a mother (Julia Roberts) who has neglected her in favour of the son who needed her more which any parent is wont to do when faced with a challenged child. Owen Wilson plays the kids' dad in an almost throwaway part totally overshadowed by all the "dramatic" characters in his family and his usual irritating halting drawl of a performance quickly gets tiresome. And to top it all the kid's facial disfigurement is hardly that extreme to warrant the kind of reaction he gets from everyone around - the film was nominated for an Oscar in the makeup category. During a very brief flashback Sonia Braga pops up unexpectedly as the kids' late grandmother. A better film with a similar subject was "Mask" with characters more cutting edge than this sentimental pudding.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:19 pm

Homecoming (Mervyn LeRoy, 1948) 8/10

Voted one of the ten worst films of 1948 by the New York Times, this is actually a very good film with MGM giving it an "A" class production starring their "King" - Clark Gable. Nobody was a bigger star than him at the time. Never a great actor but there's no denying his electric personality on screen especially when romancing one of the great beauties from the studio's roster. Here Lana Turner co-stars in their third teaming on film and their enormous chemistry made it a huge hit for the studio. A war time romance which probably had the censors in a twist as the plot revolves around adultery with the leading man in love with both a nurse and his wife. A very successful self centered surgeon (Clark Gable), in a small mid-west city, clashes with a close doctor friend (John Hodiak) who works pro-bono and wants him to help patients for free. When war breaks out he goes overseas leaving behind a wife (Anne Baxter) whom he loves and while on the front falls hopelessly in love with a cynical nurse (Lana Turner) after the two initially clash. The woman's selfless attitude during stressful moments of the battle stirs his conscience and he returns home to help his friend with his work treating malaria patients. The film belongs to Lana Turner, dressed throughout in army fatigues, playing a character far removed from the sexy roles she always played and she gives a performance of great emotional range topped by a memorable scene where she is required to act and which she aces. All four stars (Baxter and Hodiak were married at the time) are superb and it's funny to see Dame Gladys Cooper play Clark Gable's mother here - the studio juggling their contract players - a match hardly believable but totally acceptable thanks to the effortless acting of the stars. This is a great romantic soap opera and was a huge hit at the boxoffice.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:18 pm

Flame and the Flesh (Richard Brooks, 1954) 6/10

Extremely rare film which is only available in a faded print. Hollywood here apes the European sex flicks that flooded cinemas during the 1950s starring Italian bombshells Silvana Mangano and Sophia Loren. A brunette Lana Turner plays a sexy tramp in Milan using and discarding men like dirty napkins. The film's memorable opening has Lana walk through a slum swaying her hips with a young girl following and copying her. The somewhat silly plot has her come between a gigolo (Carlos Thompson) and his girlfriend (Pier Angeli). Mostly setbound the film comes alive during the location scenes shot in Naples and on a beach in Positano. Thompson is wooden although he gets to sing four songs which he does very well. Pity the print of the film is so bad but at least one can view an interesting part played by the star who, although not a very good actress, was one of the most beautiful stars in Hollywood and for that reason alone the film desperately needs to be fixed and preserved.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:18 pm

The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017) 5/10

I find it hilarious how shocked Americans are when they discover their Government has been lying to them. Are they really so naive? All Governments lie and have been doing so for centuries. Spielberg shot this story in record time since the events depicted hold relevance to the present political situation in the country. The Washington Post, headed by the owner Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), published "The Pentagon Papers" in 1971 which exposd a cover-up by four U.S. Presidents about the reality of the Vietnam War which was a failure but relentlessly pursued by all the Administrations in order to save face and which was indirectly the catalyst that eventually brought down the Nixon Administration. The film is sort of a prequel to the riveting "All the President's Men" and Spielberg films it like a thriller (albeit one that is deathly slow) with Janusz Kaminski's camera moving snake-like through the cluttered newsrooms and darkly lit boardrooms and bars. The period is superbly evoked through the costumes designed by Ann Roth. The film is a triumph of production design with a superb cast. The two stars bring gravitas to the material (Streep was nominated for an Oscar - her 21st) even though Spielberg has a tendency to be heavy handed with the story which lacks the raw drama it was angling for. The film looks great but is an absolute bore.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:18 pm

Tiger Zinda Hai (Ali Abbas Zafar, 2017) 2/10

One of the more absurd and silly films to come out of Bollywood and it also happens to be the most successful North Indian film of the year at the boxoffice - which has something to say about the paying public. Of course it's success is mainly because of a beloved star at the helm in full action mode holding a huge gun shooting bullets at the bad guys of which there are many. He also takes off his shirt. And let's not forget he is co-starring with his sexy former offscreen girlfriend in this sequel to their hit film, "Ek Tha Tiger". Retired Indian RAW agent, code named "Tiger" (Salman Khan), is here married to Pakistani ISI agent, Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and living a peaceful hidden (from the world) life in snowy Austria where the audience is shown that both are still kicking ass - he saves their son from wolves on an icy mountain while she tackles robbers in a store with a great deal of bone crunching ingenuity. The stars get to also sing and dance during a hit musical number, the intensely romantic hit Punjabi song, "Dil Diya Gallan" (sung by Pakistani singer Atif Aslam who should have had the decency to refuse singing for an Indian film since the Indian government has banned Pakistani actors from acting in their films). In the old days the leading lady would have danced in the snow wearing a sexy and flimsy saree but here we get Katrina in hot pants with nary a shudder in the intensely cold surroundings. The film's most funny plot point is RAW and ISI joining hands to rescue a group of nurses held hostage by Syrian terrorists in a hospital in Iraq. The action scenes are straight out of a cartoon. Salman flexes his muscles, Katrina kicks ass and the plot has her groped, tortured and chained by the Arab goon so that her husband can go beserk and rescue her in the nick of time - the Americans have given the rescue team a deadline before they destroy the hospital in an air strike. Oh yes, an Indian agent sacrifices his life just before handing over the Indian flag to the Pakistani agent and they all ride happily into the sunset in a bus with both nation's flags fluttering in the wind. The film is all in good spirit and "bhai chaara" between the two nations but strictly wishful thinking which for reasons not clear got banned in Pakistan. Was it because an ISI agent was depicted in an Indian film? Was it because the censors took umbrage at Katrina's, now rote, wooden performance? Or was it because the censors couldn't digest a Pakistani Muslim woman (she gets to say "Yaa Ali" a few times in between shooting to kill) being married to a Hindu man? One will never know, I guess, but I don't think our public here has missed anything much going by the overall absurdity of the plot. Although I can vouch for Salman Khan's huge popularity. I watched this film on a bootleg camera print made inside a cinema. There was intense whistling and clapping by the cinema audience when Salman first appears, his face hidden in a scarf, and the crowd went hysterical when he whips it off his face followed by endless cheers whenever he shoots one of the endless supply of Arab goons. Going by the hysteria in the cinema the film is a full "paisa vasool" experience for fans of this actor. Watch it if you like the star but skip it otherwise.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:17 pm

Dangerously They Live (Robert Florey, 1941) 6/10

Thriller set in wartime New York about an amnesia victim (Nancy Coleman) who claims to be a British agent with information about Nazi U-boats off the American coast. Chased by German spies she is helped by a doctor (John Garfield). Hitchcock-like story, fast paced and with a sinister performance by Raymond Massey as an evil Nazi. Good fun despite a predictable conclusion.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:16 pm

Journey For Margaret (W.S. Van Dyke, 1942) 6/10

WWII propaganda about an important subject - the rehabilitation of refugee children and orphans during the war. During the Blitz a reporter (Robert Young) and his wife (Larraine Day) face tragedy during a bombing when she loses her unborn baby and the doctors tell him she cannot have any more children. While his wife recuperates back in America he stays back and is assigned to write about a home for rescued children run by an elderly lady (Fay Bainter). Soon he comes into contact with two young unrelated kids, a precocious girl (Margaret O'Brien in her film debut) and a boy (William Severn), with whom he becomes attached. The film follows the red tape involved with adoption and travel out of war torn England for safer shores. The child actors are both very good, Young is solid and despite the preachy and overly patriotic nature of the screenplay the film scores and makes its rallying point by calling out to America into finally entering the War alongside the Allied Forces. Van Dyke's final film who, suffering from cancer, committed suicide not long after the film's release.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:16 pm

Padmaavat (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2018) 8/10

Bhansali is probably the only filmmaker out there who creates huge spectacles for the big screen that recall old Hollywood epics. Old fashioned cinema created purely for entertainment was what once cinema stood for and which is on view in this historical-fiction. Based on an epic poem written 200 years after the events of this tale the title character of Padmavati, who has taken on a sacred place in Hindu culture, is pure fiction. The film was mired in controversy during production with the director attacked by a fanatic Rajput caste organization and its sets vandalised followed by attacks on school buses and threats of attacking cinemas in India if the film was shown. It is obvious those stupid people never saw the film because it glorifies everything in Rajput culture and history. In fact if anybody should be protesting it is the Muslims who have been portrayed here as barbaric, blood thirsty and sexually depraved - which they probably were :) but then so were the ancient Hindus, the Turks, the Chinese, the Shoguns and the European rulers. Those were barbaric times everywhere and the rule of the game was conquest, murder, looting and rape with the victor getting the spoils and the throne. In 13th century Afghanistan Jalaluddin Khilji (Raza Murad) plots to take the throne of India. His ambitious nephew and son-in-law, Alauddin (Ranveer Singh), eventually kills him and takes over the throne. A lover of all things beautiful he hears about the beautiful Rani of Chittor, Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), married to the honourable Rajput ruler, Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), and lays siege to the fort of Chittor in order to capture her for himself. His "love", which comes off more as savage lust, remains unrequited as she is in love with her husband. Both uphold their Rajput values - Rattan Singh plays it honourable and dies on the battlefield like a true warrior while his wife, along with all the women in the fort, commits "Jauhar" - mass self-immolation to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by Khilji's army when they face defeat during the battle. The production, shot in spectacular fashion with huge sets, epic battle scenes, sumptuous costumes and jewelery, is truly a feast for the eyes. Surprisingly the character of Padmavati remains rather lifeless with Deepika Padukone looking like a model strutting the catwalk although she is effective as the beautiful object of desire in her love scenes opposite a stiff Shahid Kapoor as her brave husband. The film is stolen by Ranveer Singh as the flamboyant and savage Muslim Emperor. It's a dream role for an actor and Bhansali has allowed Singh to play to the gallery which he gleefully does. It's an incredibly wicked and very funny take on the role which the actor manages to imbue with a sense of danger using makeup, costumes and wild mannerisms. The screenplay hints at the Emperor's bisexuality with his eunuch slave, Malik Kafur (Jim Sarbh) - the actors get to enact a bathing scene in a tub with the slave washing his feet which is a scene straight out of "Spartacus" where Tony Curtis washes the body of Laurence Olivier. Historically there is no real proof of the Muslim Emperor's bisexuality and the only reason he was shown to be barbaric was to have a villain in the film opposite a suave and sophisticated Rattan Singh who dies heroically on the battlefield when in reality he surrendered and his life was spared by Khilji. The Khilji's, who took their cue from the Turks, were culturally very sophisticated in their manner and behaviour so artistic licence has been freely taken by Bhansali in this tale of fiction. As history the film is false but as entertainment it comes up aces.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Central Intelligence (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2016) 7/10

Surprisingly funny action-comedy with a lot of heart. A mild-mannered accountant (Kevin Hart) receives a Facebook friendship request out of the blue from an old high school classmate who used to be the fat nerd constantly ragged by everyone. When they meet he is surprised to discover that the man (Dwayne Johnson) is a foot taller than him and in perfect shape like a huge bodybuilder. Then the CIA comes knocking at his door claiming the muscle man is a rogue agent and a killer. As with all mismatched-buddy films the two go on the run as cartoonish mayhem follows them - killers shooting at them with crashing cars as the two banter along the way. Hart does his fast talkin' comedy shtick but it's Dwayne Johnson who shows real comic timing as the goofy tough guy who still hasn't gotten over his teenage traumas and despite being an agile killer has a deeply sensitive soul. It's all terribly silly yet very endearing at the same time thanks to the great chemistry between the two actors. Great fun.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Goodbye Christopher Robin (Simon Curtis, 2017) 6/10

Stunningly produced film - with scenes shot in the countryside of Sussex that resemble paintings - tells the story of writer A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his difficult relationship with his young son, Christopher Robin, and his uninterested (and bitchy) wife (Margot Robbie). Returning from WWI and suffering severely from PTSD, the writer moves his displeased wife, son and the child's nanny (Kelly Macdonald) to the countryside. While his wife is away in London and the nanny on leave, he is forced to spend time with his son as both take long walks in the woods (accompanied by the sweeping score by Carter Burwell) talking about wild animals. From these walks and his son's stuffed toys the writer is inspired to create the character of Winnie-the-Pooh while his son is the inspiration for the character of Christopher Robin in a series of popular books of poetry which become a raging success. The son grows up neglected and bitter resenting the stories for which he was the inspiration and refuses all loyalties from the sale of the books after he is paraded by his father in front of fawning fans of the books. The screenplay fails to balance the story's whimsical passages with the gloomy and downbeat portions of the story about child neglect, the horrors of the battlefield and the insufferable behaviour of the mother - Robbie has the unenviable task of playing a character who is quite despicable to her lonely child and who then has to reverse it all by displaying sudden compassion during a critical moment in the young man's life. Macdonald, as the nanny, is a breath of fresh air compared to a stiff Gleeson and cold-as-ice Robbie. The seesaw events depicted, often in a convoluted way, makes the story confusing when the screenplay should have concentrated more on the whimsical aspect of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Toys in the Attic (George Roy Hill, 1963) 5/10

Trashy Southern family melodrama based on Lillian Hellman's overheated play with characters seemingly wandered in from a Tennessee Williams story. Two middle-aged spinsters have spent their lives indulging the whims of their spoilt ne'er-do-well brother whose big dreams always end in disaster. Matters come to a head when the brother (Dean Martin) arrives for a visit to the family house with a young nubile, emotionally unstable child-like bride (Yvette Mimieux). Rattling skeletons in the closet threaten to jump out as everyone is nursing heated emotions. The man has a roving eye and with a former lover has made money in a real estate deal. His wife suspects her husband was paid a huge sum of money by her rich mother (Gene Tierney) in order to be rid of her. The mother has been having an affair with her black chauffeur. One sister (Wendy Hiller) is like a mother figure to her brother while the other sister (Geraldine Page) nurses incestuous feelings for him leading to an act of jealousy that proves disastrous for the brother at the hand of thugs. A far fetched plot, too many highly charged emotions and Page chewing the scenery makes the plot almost descend into grand guignol territory. Hollywood censorship toned down the miscegenation and incest but it still comes off lurid, hysterical and shrill. The cast is game with Dean and Hiller both very good. Page is an acquired taste and her grating voice and tics quickly become ludicrous. Lackluster film that should be remade.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Waiting (Anu Menon, 2015) 8/10

Two strangers meet in a hospital waiting room. She (Kalki Koechlin) is a young woman whose husband is in a coma after attaining severe head injuries in a road accident. He (Naseeruddin Shah) is an old man whose wife has been in a coma for the last eight months after suffering a stroke. They end up forming a close bond. He helps her cope with her grief while she reminds him of a daughter he and his wife never had. Superb two hander is gripping, emotional, sad and eventually uplifting as both individuals wade across their generational gap and find comfort in each other as they fight their own insecurities allowing themselves to cherish life while facing death.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

A Blueprint For Murder (Andrew L. Stone, 1953) 6/10

Suspense drama of a man (Joseph Cotten) who suspects his sister-in-law (Jean Peters) of poisoning her husband and step-daughter. To save his nephew he follows her on a ship to Europe hoping to catch her try to murder the young boy. Peters is very good as the cool woman who may or may not be a murderer. She perfectly compliments the low-key performance of Cotten and both elevate this little B-movie.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:13 pm

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (Delmer Daves, 1965) 4/10

English mother (Maureen O'Hara) dumps her husband (Richard Todd) and two teenage kids and runs off with an Italian composer (Rossano Brazzi). The unhappy kids turn up in Italy and along with the composer's daughter (Olivia Hussey) plan to break up the two middle-aged lovers. Corny film, based on a novel by Rumer Godden, is part travelogue (lovely shots of Lake Garda) but mostly sappy scenes as they all sit around discussing the situation ad nauseum with a ridiculously melodramatic ending. The three child stars come off more mature than both O'Hara and Brazzi who look silly playing "desperately in love".


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