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 Jun 02, 2018 1:28 pm

The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) 9/10

Despite a few clunky scenes - the opening set at the archaeological digs in Iraq - which suffer from pre-release cutting, the film pretty much holds up and delivers what it sets out to do. It captures the horror of William Peter Blatty's bestselling book. A 12 year old girl (Linda Blair) gets possessed and her distraught actress-mother (Ellen Burstyn) consults a priest (Jason Miller) who suggests an experienced old priest (the brilliant Max von Sydow) to perform an exorcist to drive out the devil. Meanwhile a cop (Lee J. Cobb) investigates the violent death of a film director (Jack MacGowran) who he thinks may have been pushed out of the kid's bedroom window. The film has many memorable creepy moments - the child's spider-like walk down the stairs, the vomit-in-the-face, masturbation with a crucifix, the deep voiced profanity (courtesy of actress Mercedes McCambridge), the evil grin followed by head spinning - all iconic images from the film. The film's final battle with the demon is a frontal assault which the film's director (along with his superb technicians - the sound and effects department and Owen Roizman's extraordinary cinematography) unleashes on the audience. It's pure unbridled horror. Unfortunately this film also unleashed a never ending supply of cheap imitations which continue to this day. The film, Friedkin, Burstyn, Miller, Blair, Roizman, the editing and the sets were nominated for Oscars winning two for its screenplay and sound design. Intense, terrifying film and a must-see on a big screen with an audience.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:27 pm

Cass Timberlane (George Sidney, 1947) 5/10

Glossy MGM soap opera based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis. Distinguished small-town judge (Spencer Tracy) falls in love with a young shop girl (Lana Turner) from the wrong side of the tracks. When they get married his country club-set friends disapprove with the wives (Mary Astor, Rose Hobart, Mona Barrie, Selena Royle, Josephine Hutchinson) especially vicious. Approving the match are his friend, fellow lawyer and the town cad (Zachary Scott) and former girlfriend (Margaret Lindsay). When their new born daughter dies the wife grows despondent, feels stifled by their gossipy friends and grows close to the cad which causes the couple to separate. Straightforward drama is nothing new plotwise with its twist due to class and age difference. Tracy and Turner are both very good - their second teaming together - in this rather routine Ross Hunter-like production.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

The Leisure Seeker (Paolo Virzí, 2017) 5/10

An elderly couple decide to take a cross country trip in their winnebego. He (Donald Sutherland) is a stuffy retired English professor with dementia setting in while she (Helen Mirren) is a gregarious southerner also suffering from an ailment that involves constant pill popping and nausea. The predictable screenplay uses old age issues for jokes which don't quite come off. Interesting to see Sutherland and Mirren reteam on the big screen after almost 20 years and both are very good. Old age is a bitch!!

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

Deadpool 2 (David Leitch, 2018) 4/10

What was charming, original and very funny in the original seems awfully contrived, boring and unfunny in this noisy sequel. Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), the mutant mercenary gets together a bunch of mutants and comes to the rescue of a young boy with supernatural abilities. Loud, obnoxious, over-the-top action sequences go on and on with the cast throwing witty one liners at each other. Josh Brolin plays a burly mutant - his second comic book appearance on the screen this year. Reynolds is a fine actor in need of a good vehicle in Hollywood. Enough with these comic book shenenigans on the screen. Let them remain on paper where the noise remains at silent level.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

By Love Possessed (John Sturges, 1961) 2/10

Slow, talky and turgid story is based on a bestselling novel (absurdly nominated for the Pulitzer) so obviously gets a big screen Hollywood treatment as a vehicle for Lana Turner. She was then a hot property after a series of smash hit melodramas that began with the notorious "Peyton Place" in 1957 along with the scandal of the Stompanato murder. Unfortunately this film is devoid of the two important links which made a Lana Turner film a success - Ross Hunter the producer and Douglas Sirk the director. Without both the film lacks gloss and melodrama. Instead we have a bunch of very unhappy people aching for love but instead have to make do only with sex. The plot has all the right ingredients - there is alcoholism, adultery, rape and suicide but it's all very dull. A small town lawyer (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) is in a dull marriage to his boss's daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes). His partner (Jason Robards) and close friend has an equally troubled marriage - ever since an accident which made him limp he has also become impotent thus rejecting his over sexed wife (Lana Turner). This plot device allows adultery to creep in as a passionate one night stand between the noble lawyer and his friend's sex starved wife. The old boss (Thomas Mitchell) has troubles of his own - he is growing senile and may be siphoning money from the firm. Amongst the second generation is the lawyer's dissatisfied playboy son (George Hamilton) who is not only at odds with his father but also does not love the girl (Susan Kohner) everyone in town expects him to marry. He is more interested in sexual trysts one of which with the town tramp (Yvonne Craig) results with him on trial for rape causing a lot of consternation all around. The soapy plot is played out in an extremely lifeless manner - all the characters sit and talk and talk and talk - although the film has ample production values - lush cinematography by Russell Metty, a bombastic Elmer Bernstein score, antiseptic sets and Lana Turner in a series of prim but colorful costumes. The entire cast looks as if they were forced to be in the film - Zimbalist Jr. is bland. Lana looks bored, indignant and short changed as the film turns out not to be her vehicle but more of an ensemble piece. Robards and Bel Geddes - stage stars - barely have roles while Hamilton is stiff and self conscious throughout. Kohner is stuck with a tragic part and she blandly goes through the motions. Only Thomas Mitchell survives this mess playing a crotchety character with fire in his soul. The screenplay desperately needed to vamp up the campy and trashy aspects of the plot but comes up short. Skip this film.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Anders als die Andern / Different From Others (Richard Oswald, 1919) 8/10

Rare German silent film, written by the famous sexologist Magnum Hischfield, was destroyed by the Nazis. Later it was discovered to have survived because 50 minutes of it had been inserted and made part of a documentary which was found years later in a Russian vault. The film is a remarkable time capsule and a desperate plea for tolerance and change. A concert violinist (Conrad Veidt) falls in love with his student (Fritz Schulz), falls prey to a blackmailer and runs foul of the notorious German Penal Code Paragraph 175 under which people were condemned to prison for "unnatural vice". The melodramatic film was created to expose the unjust and draconian Paragraph 175. A rare look at Berlin just after WWI as the film captures the city nightlife and its underground lifestyle. Veidt became an international star soon after this with the release of "The Cabinet of Dr Caligary" but he is just as good here playing a tragic character.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Tail Spin (Roy Del Ruth, 1939) 7/10

Intriguing drama led by a cast of female stars set in the world of aviation. Girls compete during a cross-country aerial derby - a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Alice Faye) competes in the air with a bitchy socialite (Constance Bennett) - both are involved with the same man on the ground and get into a catfight. There are laughs (courtesy of Joan Davis), tragedy (courtesy of Nancy Kelly) and brassy comraderie (courtesy of Jane Wyman) while silent movie superstar, Charles Farrell, is wasted as a mechanic pining for Alice Faye who manages to even sing a sultry number, "Are You in the Mood for Mischief?". Good aerial scenes and the interesting cast make this rare film worth a watch.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Across the Pacific (John Huston & Vincent Sherman, 1942) 4/10

Tedious wartime thriller with the Japanese involved in a plot to bomb the Panama Canal. So nobody gets close to the Pacific Ocean let alone across it. The film has a remarkable pedigree with Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet and director John Huston (although he left the production to shoot documentaries during the war and Vincent Sherman filmed the ending) fresh off their incredible success from the previous year - "The Maltese Falcon". Unfortunately the film drags in its stale cloak and dagger shenenigans on board a ship to the Panama Canal. Bogart and Astor have great chemistry as they banter their way through the journey while Greenstreet plays yet another shady character with an ulterior motive. All the Japanese characters in the film are played by Chinese actors as the United States had interned all Japanese in concentration camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Skip this film and watch the stars in "Falcon" instead.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Game Night (John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, 2018) 7/10

Fast paced amusing nonsense. A group of friends who get together for game nights get way in over their heads when a game goes out of control and involves a kidnapping, being chased and shot at by assorted thugs over a stolen faberge egg. The cast is game and the plot freely reeks of Scorsese's "After Hours" with bits inserted from Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained" probably as an homage. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams make a cute couple and Kyle Chandler is great fun as the older brother who can't stop being an asshole. Fun but instantly forgettable.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Tokyo Joe (Stuart Heisler, 1949) 8/10

The first Hollywood film to shoot in Japan after the war seems like a return to "Casablanca" for Bogie. Atmospheric film has a war veteran (Humphrey Bogart) return to Tokyo where he owned a jazz bar. Excited to discover that the wife (Florence Marley) he thought dead is alive but is dismayed to find that she had divorced him and is now married to an important official (Alexander Knox) in the occupying forces. Wanting his wife back he decides to stay on in Tokyo and becomes a partner in a freight flying company with a shady character (Sessue Hayakawa) who plans on smuggling three criminals back into the country from Korea. Rehash of a number of the star's previous hits also has a memorable theme song - "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" sung by Florence Marley in a flashback sequence and then played constantly with variations throughout bringing back memories of "As Time Goes By". The distinguished Japanese star, Sessue Hayakawa, is memorable as the suave villain while Bogart and Marley have great chemistry in their few scenes together. Gloomy but underated film beautifully shot on location.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:23 pm

Deception (Irving Rapper, 1946) 8/10

Campy film thrives on over-the-top melodrama with jealousy and betrayal the catalyst bringing out the worst in three people. A European cellist (Paul Henreid) survives the war, returns to New York and by chance is reunited with his lover (Bette Davis) who thought he was dead. He is amazed to find her living in an enormous penthouse with art on the walls and a wardrobe full of furs and jewels which she claims were all gifts from rich students she has been teaching the piano. They quickly get married and the party is stormed by a famous composer (Claude Rains) who arrives agitated and proceeds to throw a jealous fit. One lie leads to another and it takes all her guile to convince her husband that the older man is her mentor and music teacher. When the composer decides to reveal all the desperate woman pulls a gun on him. Superbly performed tale of three overwrought and emotional people forming a love triangle that simmers like a volcano on the verge of exploding. The three stars reunited after their previous triumph - "Now, Voyager" - but here the overheated melodrama threatens to derail all three of them but they manage to survive all that the plot throws at them through sheer star presence. Bette Davis, looking old and frumpy at 38, hams it up rolling her eyeballs and flapping her arms in distress while Paul Henreid is no longer the gentle lover from their previous film playing here a suspicious musician who resorts to throttling his wife during one scene in a fit of jealousy. The film is stolen from both by Claude Rains as the extremely angry genius who can't believe his protegé would dump him for a nobody. Dripping venom with every word he creates an incredibly funny, vicious and egomaniacal character with intriguing hints of closeted homosexuality, making his obsessive “love” for the woman seem more like a desire for control than a manifestation of lust or romance. The film's production values are similarly grandiose with Anton Grot's enormous sets - the penthouse with its massive window overlooking the New York skyline has to be seen to be believed - and the soaring score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold which rises to a crescendo with each character's mood swing. Ernest Haller's shadowy cinematography makes it all seem like a seedy noir. This was one of Davis's rare flops which today can be viewed as a delightful camp classic.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:21 pm

Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946) 10/10

This film asks how far should one be willing to go in defiling oneself personally for the greater good of humanity. As with most of Hitchcock's films there is romance, intrigue, suspense and betrayal but more than that it is about a love triangle in which a woman feels compelled to get married to a man she abhors out of duty to her country even though she loves someone else. A disgraced woman (Ingrid Bergman) - she is the daughter of a Nazi sympathiser convicted of treason - is approached by a U.S. government agent (Cary Grant) to prove her patriotism to the United States by infiltrating her father's former colleagues in Brazil to get information on their activities. She is to approach a wealthy industrialist (Claude Rains) who was also her former lover. As the two spies gear up for the job both fall in love. When her former lover proposes marriage she decides to go for it instead of blowing her cover. The plot turns sinister when she discovers the gang is involved in producing uranium which is kept in wine bottles in the cellar. When her role as a spy gets exposed she is kept prisoner and slowly poisoned by her husband and his domineering mother (Leopoldine Konstantine). The film became famous for two memorable scenes. The two stars embrace and kiss but since censorship did not allow a kiss to last beyond a few seconds on screen the director found a way around it and the "kiss" lasted almost two and a half minutes on screen making it one of the most erotic love scenes in film history. The second memorable scene in the film involves a tracking shot by the camera during a suspense filled moment with an overhead long shot of dozens of guests at a party with the camera swooping down to an extreme close-up on a key in Ingrid Bergman’s hand. This was the first of two screen pairings between Grant and Bergman and they made a sizzling team - he is his usual cool sophisticated self while she plays against type in a role that is basically that of a "call girl" which censors at the time labeled as a "party girl". Suave Claude Rains steals every scene as the sympathetic but mother-fixated Nazi who is dismayed to discover that the woman he loves has betrayed him. The film is superbly photographed by Ted Tetzlaff in crisply shot black and white and is a rare Hitchcock film where the plot not only has suspense but is basically a story about romance that is almost doomed.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:20 pm

The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1978) 8/10

Bizzare, creepy but fascinating little film which unfolds like a puzzle. A strange man (Alan Bates) ingratiates himself into the household of a musician (John Hurt) and his wife (Susannah York) and soon holds sexual sway over her. He uses aboriginal magic with stones and has the ability to shout at a very high decibel which can kill humans which he proceeds to do on a remote sand dune - the film was shot in Devon with its grassy and sandy dunes which are a sight to behold as they roll down towards the Atlantic ocean. The screenplay, based on a short story by Robert Graves, is quintessentially English in tone - the main story is sandwiched between a game of cricket organized by a doctor (Robert Stephens) as the "shouter" relates his story to the author (Tim Curry). The film has many memorable moments with Susannah York unabashadly participating in the nude on bed, in the bathtub and crawling on all fours like an animal on heat. Weird film has a mesmerizing performance by Alan Bates and was one of Skolimowski's early gems and well worth a watch.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964) 8/10

Historical drama about a bizarre love triangle - King Henry II and his love for his close friend and confidante Thomas á Becket who in turn discovers his love for God. The story (based on the Tony winning play by Jean Anouilh) is also a clash between the King and the clergy. In 12th Century England rambunctuous Norman King Henry (Peter O'Toole) leads a debauched life in the company of his sensible Saxon friend Thomas Becket. The King constantly clashes with the Church demanding total allegience which is rebuffed in favour of God. When the Archbishop of Canterbury (Sir Felix Aylmer) dies, the King appoints Becket in his place in the hope that he will now have a close ally inside the Church. However, Becket has a spiritual awakening and puts God before his King which results in a clash leading upto the tragic finalé at the behest of the King. Lavishly filmed historical film (which "fiddles" with history) is long on dialogue and less on action even though the play is opened up to include many outdoor sequences stunningly shot by Geoffrey Unsworth. The film comes to life during all the scenes between the two huge stars - O'Toole was then coming off his incredible triumph on screen in "Lawrence of Arabia" while Burton was not only a much respected actor but was creating offscreen a daily tabloid frenzy due to his intense sexual affair (and eventual marriage) to Elizabeth Taylor. Both actors with their distinct voices and precise diction get to speak pages of dialogue which in itself is a pleasure to hear. They both give superb performances - O'Toole plays the King as a self centered brat, loud, hammy, obnoxious and completely over the top while Burton in contrast gives a quietly controlled performance enjoying his friendship with the King and later deeply wounded by the turn of events - the two actors get to play an intensely dramatic scene, both on horses on a beach, where the anxious King hopes for a reconciliation but is rebuffed by Becket in favour of God and his conscience. The screenplay quietly but surely suggests the homoerotic devotion between the two men which ends in tragedy. The two leads are surrounded by a great cast - Sir Donald Wolfit (as the bishop who is usurped by Becket and so hates him), Pamela Brown as the put-upon Eleanor of Acquitaine (Henry's Queen and mother of four sons all of whom he hates), Martita Hunt as the taunting Queen Matilda (Henry's mother), Sir John Gielgud as King Louis VII of France and Siân Phillips (married to O'Toole then) as Becket's mistress who the King takes away for himself. Superbly produced film was nominated for 13 Oscars - including nods for Best Picture, Burton, O'Toole, Gielgud and Glenville - winning for its screenplay. Talky film with two great actors playing superbly off each other.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Manhandled (Lewis R. Foster, 1949) 3/10

Starts off with a bang - the camera, at floor level, follows a woman into her apartment and up the stairs into her bedroom. While she is admiring herself in the mirror a man comes up behind her and kills her. It's her husband but it turns out to be a dream which he relates to his psychiatrist. When she is later murdered and her jewels stolen, suspicion falls on him, the doctor's secretary (Dorothy Lamour) and her seedy neighbour (Dan Duryea). Investigating the case are a couple of goofy cops and an insurance investigator (Sterling Hayden). After a fantastic opening it all goes downhill with the cast all looking bored and the murderer pretty obvious. Weak noir although Ernest Laszlo's shadowy cinematography is a major plus.


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