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 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:35 pm

Undercurrent (Vincente Minnelli, 1946) 7/10

Psychological melodrama which Karl Freund photographs like a noir casting the stars in sinister shadows - the scene where a lamp gets knocked over is superbly shot for maximum menacing effect. An unsophisticated and tomboyish spinster (Katharine Hepburn) finds her life dramatically changed after a whirlwind romance and marriage with a handsome and wealthy industrialist (Robert Taylor). The film was a huge success for MGM with the return of Taylor to the studio after the war opposite a radiant Hepburn. The plot has a stale whiff of Hitchcock's "Suspicion" as the naive wife begins to worry for her life after witnessing her husband go through one too many psychotic episodes as he rages against a brother (Robert Mitchum) whom he hates with a vengeance and accuses of being a crook. The final suspenseful sequence has the two stars on horses galloping high up on a cliff. Hepburn gives a wonderful performance compared to a stiff Robert Taylor and her brief scenes opposite Robert Mitchum come off best and have a gentle quality amidst the high pitched melodrama. Ironic considering both Hepburn and Mitchum hated each other and were both uncomfortable acting in their scenes together.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:34 pm

Keeper of the Flame (George Cukor, 1943) 5/10

When an American national hero dies in a freak accident a reporter (Spencer Tracy) wishes to write a book about him. He faces opposition at first from the widow (Katharine Hepburn) who later reluctantly agrees to talk to him about her husband. Gradually he realises that everyone, including the widow, her cousin (Forest Tucker), his aide (Richard Whorf) and the hero's invalid mother (Margaret Wycherly), who were part of the inner circle are hiding something about him. Rather dour and humourless film became the second teaming of both Tracy and Hepburn. He is very good but she, although looking lovely, gives a very mannered and self conscious performance and was not happy with the screenplay which pontificates in a shrill way about the rise of fascism - typical wartime propaganda. She wanted a touch of romance in the plot and clashed over it with Cukor. Despite the glamour of the two stars this is an ill-conceived political melodrama.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:34 pm

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Alexandra Dean, 2017) 8/10

Informative documentary about the beautiful iconic Hollywood star famous for her femme fatale roles in "Algiers" (1937) and "Samson and Delilah" (1950). Hedy Lamarr was known as "the most beautiful woman in the world". She once famously said, "Any girl can be glamorous, all you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” An ironic statement considering she was much more than just a beautiful actress. What is mostly unknown is that she was the inspiration for both "Snow White" and "Cat Woman" and even more importantly a technological trailblazer who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. She basically invented the concepts which were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology. This fascinating documentary charts her early career with her nude appearance in the Czech film "Ecstacy" (1933) in which her simulation of an orgasm gained her notoriety and an eventual entry into Hollywood where at MGM she was treated like a beautiful piece of meat and given sultry and romantic roles opposite the top leading men of the time - Robert Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Robert Young, William Powell, James Stewart, Walter Pidgeon and Paul Henreid. Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, considered her no less than a whore but nurtured her as she appeared in hit films for the studio. Unhappy with the roles she was given she became a producer. She married six times, was a doting and vitriolic mother, hid her jewish background and during her later years was involved in scandals - she was caught shoplifting a number of times - after which she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten. This documentary is a fine testament to her achievements as a trail blazing woman and then we also have all her movies where we can enjoy seeing her ravishing beauty on screen where she will live on forever.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:34 pm

At Sword's Point (Lewis Allen, 1952) 6/10

The sons (Cornel Wilde, Dan O'Herlihy, Alan Hale Jr.) and daughter (Maureen O'Hara) of the four Musketeers come to the help of Queen Anne of France (Dame Gladys Cooper). Colourful swashbuckler with sword fights galore. The main attraction is fiery O'Hara with her flaming red hair and green eyes. Witty, silly and full of old fashioned adventure.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:07 pm

Air Force One (Wolfgang Peterson, 1997) 8/10

This is one prepostrous action film and an incredible guilty pleasure. Air Force One is hijacked by a Russian radical (Gary Oldman) and his goons who hold hostage the U.S. President (Harrison Ford), his wife, daughter and members of his staff who are all on board. The hijackers demand the release of a political prisoner (Jürgen Prochnow) who is held in Moscow. While the Vice President (Glenn Close), the Defence Secretary (Dean Stockwell) and the Attorney General (Phillip Baker Hall) attempt to negotiate with the hijackers the President acts with the dexterity of James Bond (he got his skills while in Vietnam) and proves to be a wily foe on board. The Americans are all incredulous that such a thing could happen to their President and someone says with great arrogance, "No one does this to the United States". Clearly the screenplay or that thought did not anticipate 9/11 which was just a few years on. Ford makes a perfect action hero as he tussles both verbally and physically with Oldman and even flies the plane â la Karen Black (who did it just as well in "Airport '75"). The film's various action set pieces are completely over-the-top as the giant 747 dodges missiles, a mid-air refueling takes place, hostages jump out of the plane with parachutes, the President hangs out of the plane's hatch held only by his hand and the final escape using a wire between two airborne planes. It's amusing to see Gary Oldman playing the vicious hijacker here especially with his recent Oscar winning performance still fresh in one's mind - I prefer this vicious goon to his portrayal of Churchill. The film's erratic effects and all the holes in the screenplay can be ignored as the non-stop action and suspense hold you by the neck and take you on this roller coaster ride of thrills. Great fun.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:06 pm

Lady on a Train (Charles David, 1945) 4/10

Rather silly whodunnit with perky and annoying Deanna Durbin witnessing a murder through a train window. When nobody believes her she turns amateur sleuth and gets involved with a mystery writer (David Bruce) and in an inheritance plot involving an old woman (Elizabeth Patterson) and her two nephews (Ralph Bellamy & Dan Duryea). Both actors play against type while Durbin sings "Silent Night", "Night and Day" and "Give Me a Little Kiss" in this boring screwball comedy-mystery. The star is dressed-up to look older in order to help her graduate to more adult roles but she still looks like a child playing a game of dress-up.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:01 pm

God's Own Country (Francis Lee, 2017) 9/10

The film's title refers to Yorkshire being the Lord's very own. A love story set against a backdrop of the seemingly idyllic, but often harsh, realities of a farming community. The visual beauty of the countryside with its rolling moors masks what is often a harsh life full of day-to-day squalor - a lonely young man (Josh O'Connor) lives on a farm with his invalid father (Ian Hart) and old grandmother (Gemma Jones). A Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) is hired as an extra help and the two men bond and find a common ground. The film owes a debt to "Brokeback Mountain" but goes off in a different direction. It is more an amalgamation of the themes found in the novels of E. M. Forster, Emily Brontë, Thomas Hardy and D. H. Lawrence. The film also advances a pro-immigration subtext in what is the closing borders of Brexit-era Britain. The film's raw passion echos the harsh realities of the countryside. Delicately acted film hinges on the chemistry of the two leads who give superb performances with quiet support by both Hart and Jones all of whom easily slip into their rural milieu.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:00 pm

The Miracle of the Bells (Irving Pichel, 1948) 7/10

A saccharine premise surprisingly works as most of the screenplay revolves around the life of a struggling actress (Alida Valli) who gets her break in a famous director's (Lee J. Cobb) film version of "Joan of Arc". When she suddenly dies a day after the film finishes shooting the director decides to shelve it. The studio's sly press agent (Fred MacMurray), a close friend of the actress, tries to get the director to release the film. While in a small town to bury her he cooks up a ruse by getting all the churches in the region to ring their bells for her. The ensuing publicity - a result of a "miracle" inside a church - gets the money mad Hollywood executives to finally see reason. The film rests on the shoulders of its charming leading lady who is incandescent throughout. She has great chemistry with MacMurray. A miscast Frank Sinatra is the priest who refutes the "miracle". The film not only propagates hope but celebrates goodness, kindness and understanding in human beings. Forgotten little gem of a film.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:58 pm

Night Unto Night (Don Siegel, 1949) 7/10

Overwrought but very atmospheric psychological melodrama with gothic overtones. It's rather unusual to see an early film by this director who decades later gained prominence with his films for Clint Eastwood. Two people - a scientist (Ronald Reagan) who is suffering from the beginnings of epilepsy and a woman (Viveca Lindfors) haunted by the ghostly presence of her dead husband - find each other as soul mates. He has rented her gothic mansion on a beach in Florida and coming in between them is her oversexed bitchy sister (Osa Massen) and a hurricane brewing over the nearby ocean. This brooding love story is beautifully shot with the camera snaking through the eerie house along its dark corridoors, up and down the huge staircase and over glistening sea water to the music of Franz Waxman. Well acted film has Broderick Crawford in a strong supporting role just before he became a huge star. Reagan got a bum rap all his life for being a bad actor although he was not bad at all as he proves here.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:58 pm

Scandal Sheet (Phil Karlson, 1952) 8/10

Stylish noir based on a novel by Samuel Fuller and beautifully shot in black and white by Burnett Guffey. The managing editor (Broderick Crawford) of a scandal sheet newspaper commits a murder and squirms in growing horror as two of his staff reporters (John Derek & Donna Reed - both very good) get closer and closer to solving the crime. Gripping film is superbly paced and acted with Crawford a standout as the tough boss whose relentless pursuit of stories has inspired his star reporter to do just that and which could end up turning the tables on him. The tough dialogue throughout makes this film a very exciting watch.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:57 pm

The Pyx (Harvey Hart, 1973) 4/10

Low budget Canadian feature is a mash-up of Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" (and its satanic cult) and Pakulla's "Klute" and built around a police procedural. A heroin addicted hooker (Karen Black) is found dead after a fall from the roof of a building. Via flashbacks we get to see how the hooker reaches her terrible end as a detective (Christopher Plummer) investigates if it was suicide or murder. The mystery is not that compelling but Black is fascinating to watch as the tough, high-class call girl battling her addictions. The film's darkly lit cinematography and a leaden pace are also major detriments.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:55 pm

Loving Vincent (Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman, 2017) 7/10

Visually stunning animated film - with each frame painted in oils - recalls the last few days in the life of tormented Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. The screenplay presents the events in the form of a mystery with a young man who arrives to deliver a letter to Van Gogh's brother who he finds has also died a few weeks after Vincent's death. His interest is piqued when it is suggested that the gun shot that killed the painter was maybe not suicide but murder. Various people who were around Van Gogh during his last days are interviewed and come up with their own theories. The scenes set in the present are full of dramatic colour like Van Gogh's paintings while the flasback sequences depicting the artist are in black and white like charcoal sketches. It was filmed in live action with actors and then each frame was painted (like an oil painting on canvas using the same technique as Van Gogh) and then animated. The film is a visual feast for the eyes. Oscar nominated for best animated film.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:54 pm

Red Sparrow (Francis Lawrence, 2018) 2/10

Nasty spy thriller with full-throttle lashings of nudity, rape, veiled incest, beatings, torture and coldly brutal seduction. In the same vein as "Atomic Blonde" this film creates a cold-blooded killing machine enmeshed in a hairpin plot of twists. A prima ballerina (Jennifer Lawrence) with the Bolshoi ballet cracks her leg in an accident on stage and is forced to take help from her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is a high ranking member of the Russian intelligence. She is inducted into "Sparrow School" ("Uncle you put me in whore school") - a training place for spies run by the cruel and emotionless matron (Charlotte Rampling) - which includes the art of becoming a perfect whore by coldly becoming adept at every form of sexual act - she also learns how to pick locks and manipulate people. Her first assignment is to get close to a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) in order to find out the identity of the mole who is the American's contact inside Russian intelligence. It's a fantastic set up with a number of twists but unfortunately blandly directed with no energy in any of the scenes. A deadpan Lawrence, wearing a hideous blonde wig, has no chemistry with Edgerton but is surrounded by a great cast also including Joely Richardson as her ailing mother and Jeremy Irons and Ciarín Hinds as high ranking members of the Russian intelligence. Lifeless film goes on and on with no end in sight. Stick to "Atomic Blonde" with kick-ass Charlize Theron and avoid this film like the plague.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:53 pm

London After Midnight (Todd Browning, 1927) 6/10

Legendary classic lost silent film - all prints are deemed lost with the last known print destroyed by fire in an MGM vault in 1967 - is recreated via stills, intertitles, dramatic organ music and the camera moving snake-like across the film's production stills. An aristocrat is found dead of a gunshot wound along with a suicide note. The inspector (Lon Chaney) suspects murder but has no proof. Five years later the dead man's house is leased by a ghoul-like man (also played by Lon Chaney with fake teeth and death-like mask) who has the aristocrat's name and who the neighbor's think is a vampire. When the aristocrat's body goes missing from his tomb the inspector returns and questions the deceased's butler, nephew, friend and daughter and proves murder had been committed. Chaney plays two roles - the straight role of the cop and the over-the-top ghoul which allowed him his fascination for grotesque makeup.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:52 pm

Good Sam (Leo McCarey, 1948) 6/10

McCarey is here in Frank Capra mode. Cooper is the do-gooder who goes beyond the call of duty in his neighborhood much to the consternation of his hapless family. He just doesn't know when to stop with his good deeds. Brittle Ann Sheridan, as his sensible wife, is superb and the two stars play well off each other. Cooper's usual slow-burn style of acting, which is usually always pretty annoying, works well for the character here. There are vivid bits scattered throughout as he interacts with a great supporting cast of character actors.


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