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

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:38 am

Fire Over Africa / Málaga (Richard Sale, 1954) 3/10

Attractive location filming in Tangiers and Málaga cannot hide the amateurish acting and direction of this boring action adventure. A former agent (Maureen O'Hara) is assigned the task of going undercover to try and find the head of a smuggler's ring operating between Spain and Italy which has caused the deaths of many members of the police force. She comes up against various colourful characters - a man (Macdonald Carey) who flirts with her and may or not be a smuggler, the blowsy propreitess of a bar (Binnie Barnes) and an assassin wielding a nasty sword. Lovely O'Hara, dressed in tight outfits and wearing high heels, gets chased and beaten up relentlessly while giving a really bad performance. Carey has no chemistry with his leading lady and looks bored throughout. Binnie Barnes comes through with an interesting interpretation but the rest of the cast all look and act like amateurs. Awful B-movie with a screenplay full of clichés.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:38 am

The Girl Who Had Everything (Richard Thorpe, 1953) 6/10

Loose remake of MGM's own hit pre-code "A Free Soul" from 1931 becomes a vehicle for the stunningly beautiful Elizabeth Taylor who had become one of the studio's most popular young stars after her appearance in the classic "A Place in the Sun". A successful lawyer (William Powell) has no qualms defending crooks and gets a gambler (Fernando Lamas) off the hook. However, when his daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) defies him, drops her boyfriend (Gig Young) and takes up with the crook as her lover he is forced to take steps to save her from a life of misery. This crime soap is pretty trite but is a well acted B-film with A-list stars. Powell (at the end of his long career) and Taylor (at the start of hers) create sparks as a non-conformist father-daughter duo. The seedy menace of the original film gets watered down here (along with a different ending) by glossing over the sexually charged relationship beween the two lovers (played in the classic version by Norma Shearer and newcomer Clark Gable who oozed menace) as she is saved by her former boyfriend (Leslie Howard) who shoots the crook and who in turn is defended in court by her alcoholic father (Lionel Barrymore who won an Oscar for his hammy performance). This remake retains the famous slapping scene of Lamas clipping Taylor - in the original when Gable slapped Shearer across the face it caused his fanbase to increase tremendously with fans clamouring to watch the film. Watch this for Taylor who is pure eye-candy.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:37 am

Rich, Young and Pretty (Norman Taurog, 1951) 8/10

Charming MGM fluff with perky but radiant Jane Powell visiting Paris with her diplomat Texan dad (Wendel Corey), falling in love with a young frenchman (Vic Damone in his film debut and speaking with an American accent) and discovering she has a french mother (vivacious Danielle Darrieux making a brief Hollywood comeback) who abandoned her when she was a child. The disturbing plotline is whitewashed via lovely technicolor, a witty screenplay (by Sidney Sheldon), a superb score (including the Oscar nominated song "Wonder Why" sung by Powell and Damone) and typically lush production values. The entire cast is in fine voice including Darrieux (who gets to sing a number of songs) and Fernando Lamas (also making his Hollywood film debut) with his deep baritone voice. Like most musicals from the golden era it's all rather silly but it still ends up leaving a happy smile on your face.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:37 am

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018) 6/10

The formula is now familiar - a mission goes wrong and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin) along with allies who help (yipee Rebecca Ferguson returns as the MI-6 agent) and hinder (Henry Cavill thrust upon the team by hardass CIA director Angela Bassett) try to right the wrong. It's a race against time to retrieve three plutonium orbs from the dastardly villain (Sean Harris) who threatens destruction of a catastrophic nature. The convoluted plot is, as always, just an excuse to create more and more outrageous stunts and action set pieces with the film's mega star at the front and center of it all. Cruise delivers a charismatic star performance although some of the set pieces are rather old hat - jumping out of a plane, the obligatory chase sequence through narrow Paris streets involving bikes and cars - although a three-way bone crunching fist fight in a loo is a major highlight along with the riveting climax which is intercut between a helicopter chase sequence which ends on a precipice with the star dangling on a rope and the diffusion of two bombs. Unfortunately the film goes on too long - a number of the talky sequences could have been cut as they stop the action dead in it's track. The screenplay also puts Cruise in a love triangle amidst all the mayhem - with the MI-6 agent and his ex-wife (Michelle Monaghan), who pops up via a dream sequence and later in reality during a crucial moment in the plot. And let's not forget the "White Widow" (Vanessa Kirby) - a sexy and dangerous arms broker - who lip-locks with Hunt creating further sparks. Hey....Cruise produced the film too so he can have three leading ladies fawning over him if he wants. This is perfect summer popcorn entertainment but in need of a desperate trim in its running time.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:37 am

The Lost Moment (Martin Gabel, 1947) 9/10

A gothic mansion on the canal in Venice. An unscrupulous publisher (Robert Cummings) seeking out long-lost love letters written by a long-dead poet to his lover (Agnes Moorehead) who is the 105 year old owner of the mansion. Her schizophrenic, neurotic niece (Susan Hayward), outwardly a stern tight-lipped spinster, who mysteriously transforms at night into a beautiful lovelorn maiden pining for her lover while fondling his letters. Superb adaptation of Henry James' "The Aspern Papers" - the film gives the story a strong touch of noirish romanticism - strikingly directed by Gabel invoking memories of Max Ophül's lush style and broodingly shot by Hal Mohr. The film's memorable production design enhances the grim, musty but deliriously romantic mood of the story.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:36 am

The Thirteenth Tale (James Kent, 2013) 3/10

An old novelist (Vanessa Redgrave) describes her childhood to a writer (Olivia Colman) while on her deathbed. One of numerous films with Redgrave playing an infirm character looking back at her life - here a wild and carefree childhood spent in a haunted house with her mentally unbalanced twin sister. The house burns down and there is a ghost but this superbly produced film - shot on location in Yorkshire - is disjointed, uninvolving and deathly slow. Christopher Hampton adapts Diane Setterfield's gothic novel.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:36 am

Fracture (Gregory Hoblit, 2007) 5/10

A courtroom drama with a screenplay full of glaring potholes pits a cool and calculated murderer (Sir Anthony Hopkins) against a cocky attorney (Ryan Gosling) who is intent on leaving the D.A. office for a promising career with a law firm. A rich old man shoots his unfaithful wife (Embeth Davidtz) in the head putting her in a coma. She was having a fling with a cop who happens to arrive on the murder scene and is shocked to discover that the wounded woman is his mistress. The old man confesses to the shooting and requests that he defend himself in court. With the gun missing the case appears to be in favour of the old man who hopes to be let off on that technicality. The story keeps going off into a tangent involving the attorney and his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) which not only wastes the talents of Pike but distracts from the main plot which finally ends on a very flimsy premise. Hopkins has a field day playing his character as a variation of "Hannibal Lecter" - sneering, winking and delightfully hissing out his lines at Gosling, not unlike his confrontations with Jodie Foster in "The Silence of the Lambs". He is the whole show as he struts about taunting the young attorney. This is strictly B-film material with a plot that relies far too many times on ridiculous coincidences.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:35 am

Dhadak (Shashank Khaitan, 2018) 6/10

Dharma Productions (Karan Johar) uses this Hindi remake of the Marathi film, "Sairat", to launch two new actors in Bollywood. Nepotism be damned as Karan "introduces" Janhvi Kapoor (the daughter of producer Boney Kapoor and the late screen goddess Sridevi) and Ishaan Khattar (the son of actors Rajesh Khattar and Neelima Azeem and half-brother of Bollywood superstar Shahid Kapoor). The effort results in a star being born - Ishaan Khattar, whose sensational performance as the love struck young man is absolutely delightful. He is superb in every scene and perfectly captures the euphoria of first love and gives a startlingly mature performance showing himself adept in every happy, comic and sad moment. The original film's message about honour killing gets a shortshrift here despite the ending which is a somewhat departure from the original Marathi film - the ending here, although on similar lines, seems jarring as the screenplay seems to be leading upto a shocking finalé but suddenly veers sharply to the left leaving a few plot points unresolved. It is as if they decided to change the ending at the last minute in order to be different. The main plot borrows heavily from "Romeo and Juliet" and Bollywood's own "Qayamat Say Qayamat Tak" (1988) - two lovers from different castes and social strata fall in love, face tremendous opposition from their families (Ashutosh Rana, with his snake-like eyes, perpetual smirk and sleazy moustache plays the girl's "evil" politician father), run off together, live in abject poverty, fight, reconcile, get married, have a baby and then arrives a shocking twist in their lives. With Karan Johar as producer the film is a superb mélange of song and dance. The cute young leads are both swooningly photographed as they frolic and make love dressed to their teeth in Manish Malhotra outfits. Most of all the film is an ode to the city of Udaipur with its lake palace, the waterfront and narrow alleys and the picturesque views from the rooftops. Janhvi Kapoor's much anticipated film debut - the film is a massive hit - is a personal triumph for her although she comes up a bit short in the acting stakes. She carries off the arrogance and bemused emotions of her character during the early part of the film but she is a little stiff during the more emotional moments. It is a fine debut performance but compared to her exhuberant co-star she comes up short. Nevertheless the success of this film should make her late mother Sridevi extremely proud as she was the one grooming this young actress for screen stardom. There is nothing really new in this film. Watch it to see two young actors who will be the next generation superstars in Bollywood and to marvel at the beauty and charm of the city of Udaipur.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:35 am

Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018) 4/10

Slick but formulaic remake of the Charles Bronson film - it was a potboiler then and in some circles, 44 years later, is considered to be a "classic" spawning various sequels for the star. Bruce Willis inherits the part, here a surgeon, who finds his life suddenly change when his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Camila Morone) are viciously attacked by three thugs during a robbery at their home. As time goes by and the police have no leads the doctor decides to take the law into his own hands and turns vigilante (the media terms the mysterious killer "the grim reaper") as he goes into tough Chicago neighborhoods wearing a hoodie and shooting down petty criminals. Willis, stuck in a seriously dramatic role, is bereft of his patented quips and smirks and looks most uncomfortable throughout. The shootings are no longer "crowd pleasing" moments - far too many real-life tragic shootings around the world make the plot very queasy and reeks of exploitation. Lovely Shue is a breath of fresh air in her brief moments on screen as is Vincent D'Onofrio as the doctor's concerned brother. Skip this film unless you are a fan of Willis.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:35 am

The Secret Heart (Robert Z. Leonard, 1946) 6/10

Glossy MGM melodrama - sensitive young girl (June Allyson) grows up idol worshiping her dead father (Robert Sterling) and resenting her stepmother (Claudette Colbert). Matters come to a head when she falls in love with her late father's friend (Walter Pidgeon) who is courting her mother. Overwrought emotions get a spin here and acted out to perfection by a wonderful cast in the studio's typical artificial manner. Colbert's charming lead performance holds it all together.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:34 am

Pearl of the South Pacific (Alan Dwan, 1955) 5/10

Colorful South Seas hokum with three crooks looking for black pearls on an uncharted island. Two beachcombers (Dennis Morgan & David Faraar) hook up with a woman (Virginia Mayo), try to con the innocent natives on an island and try to steal their pearls. It all goes predictably wrong for the trio. Sultry Mayo and the spectacular Hawaiian locations are highlights in what is basically pure corn.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:34 am

The Desert Song (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1953) 6/10

Sigmund Romberg operetta has shades of both "Zorro" and "Superman" with a nerdy archeologist (Gordon MacRae wearing a set of Clark Kent specs) in Africa who moonlights as the mysterious El Khobar (wearing flowing Arab robes) helping the local tribesmen against the evil Sheik (Raymond Massey) who pretends to be the ally of the French Foreign Legion. The General's flighty daughter (Kathryn Grayson) falls for the charms (and songs) of the dashing Khobar. Silly but fun film has the great voices of Grayson and MacRae and enough desert action scenes to keep it all moving at a swift pace. Sexy Allyn Ann McLerie plays the exotic "Azurie" and her harem dance number is straight out of a Bollywood film. Striking colour photography by Robert Burks and a rousing Max Steiner score are highlights in between the action and songs. Pure hokum.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:33 am

Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2018) 6/10

If you cross "The Towering Inferno" with "Die Hard" you get this film - tall building, fire, terrorists. Saving the day is an ex-FBI officer (mighty Dwayne Johnson), now minus a leg after a disastrous rescue operation, who has to enter the burning building teeming with deadly terrorists to rescue his trapped wife (Neve Campbell) and kids. Done-to-death plot gets yet another once-over and the formula manages to drum up enough suspense and excitement to make this solid summer fare. Johnson is kick-ass fun performing outlandish stunts as he battles the deadly goons and the raging fire. The ending is lifted off fromthe mirror sequence in "The Lady From Shanghai". Avoid the film if you suffer from acrophobia.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:32 am

Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis, 2018) 5/10

As a film with Jesus Christ as one of the main characters it lacks the spirituality of Pasolini's film, the "passion" of Mel Gibson's vision and dispenses with the "temptation" depicted by Scorsese in his version by way of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel. However, this is a film where we see the Messiah through the eyes of the ultimate groupie, Mary Magdalene (Rooney Mara), slandered in early Church texts as a prostitute but here depicted as a fiercely independent woman much to the wrath of the patriarchal society. This is the politically correct version of Mary. She becomes one of the earliest and most ardent followers (the 13th apostle?) of Jesus Christ (Joaquin Phoenix) who here comes off as a mashup between a bedraggled rock star and ominous cult leader. The screenplay listlessly goes through the oft told (and recognised) events in Christ's life - cures a blind man, raises Lazarus from the dead, the last supper, betrayed by Judas (Tahar Rahim), the kiss, the crucifixion followed by his resurrection and sighting by Mary. One is used to seeing versions of this story with a highly emotional arc bordering on melodrama but here we have every emotion in check with a poker-faced Rooney acting like the proverbial sheep following her "master". Phoenix (and everyone in the cast for that matter and in particular Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter) is ethnically wrong as Christ - boxoffice demands Hollywood stars, most of whom unfortunately come with blue eyes - but the actor manages a semblance of the man. Director Davis, coming off the emotionally charged "Lion", goes the opposite route here. His interpretation of the story is elegant and serene with outstanding production values - the authentic costumes, cinematography and a lovely score. Pity the film is such a bore.

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8019
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:31 am

Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard, 1990) 4/10

Godard is an acquired taste. Not for everyone. I like most of his films made before 1966 but find many of the later overated, dull, difficult or pretentious. I can't fault the images in his films though which are almost always superbly shot - maybe I need to turn off the sound and just concentrate on the images. Here is another difficult film which took me a while to understand. Almost the entire dialogue consists of quotations from literature or films. Even the actors posturing in front of the camera seems to have been lifted off other films. Or maybe I imagined this. The plot revolves around a drifter (Alain Delon) who is picked up by a rich industrialist (Domiziana Giordano) and becomes her kept man at her lavish estate near Lake Geneva. He dotes on her and is obedient. Other characters pop up followed by a boating incident where he drowns and she refuses to help. Then another man arrives who looks like the first (also Delon) but is shrewd and aggressive. Then there is a second boating incident with roles reversed. The film is gorgeously photographed with lush views of the spectacular Swiss countryside. It is the first film I've seen where Alain Delon looks human - bags under his eyes, sagging neck jowls, frown marks on his forehead and pimples on his chin. The film is a beautiful looking bore.


Return to “Other Film Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest