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 Dec 17, 2017 9:32 am

The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 1975) 5/10

Huston's long gestating project - during the 1950s both Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable were attached - finally came to the screen with Sean Connery and Michael Caine as two rogues from the British army during the Raj who fancy becoming kings in Kafiristan. This is a decent adventure film but hardly a classic because Huston films it as a broad comedy which is extremely jarring. Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling (Christopher Plummer) who here performs a bookend to the wild and wacky adventures of two irreverant British soldiers - a Scotsman (Sean Connery) and a cockney (Michael Caine) - who decide to trek to Kafiristan, a remote province of Afghanistan, beyond the Hindukush mountains where no white man has set foot since Alexander. Against all odds the two charlatans succeed while taming various tribes, forming a small army of derelects and fooling the local priests into thinking the Scotsman is a direct descendent of the greek king. Lavishly produced film shot by Oswald Morris on location in Morocco (which substituted for India) has both stars sharing great chemistry. Too bad the screenplay is full of potholes and their "adventures" not only become more and more prepostrous but also very tedious. The performances by the two stars keep the film afloat which would have been far better if Huston had cut out the comedy and filmed it as straight drama.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:31 am

American Made (Doug Liman, 2017) 6/10

The Tom Cruise killer smile along with aviators - both of which made him a star 21 years ago - play a big role in this tale of charming TWA pilot, Barry Seal, who is hired by the CIA to fly over South American countries to photograph suspected communist groups. Along the way he decides to multi-task and becomes a drug runner for the Colombian drug cartel smuggling coke into the United States and laundering money. The CIA turns a blind eye while asking him to fly arms into Nicaragua for the Contras. He is soon a rich man and the fall, when it finally comes, is spectacular. This black comedy relies totally on the charm of Cruise who has a field day with the part although the rat-a-tat speed of the screenplay fails to explain what made this man take so many risks. For the money certainly, which seduces him, but he is also a man with a family so it makes no sense why he keeps going on with the wild schemes. This is yet another film created to show off the star in all his cocky glory. It's fun if you go along with no questions asked but problematic if you delve deep into what's up on the screen.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:31 am

Suburbicon (George Clooney, 2017) 3/10

The Eisenhower era is superbly evoked via outstanding production design - the identical suburbun homes all lined up neatly with manicured lawns and clean-cut folks occupying them. The screenplay (by the Coen brothers) wickedly puts a black family amidst this antiseptic lot much to the horror of the entire neighborhood but then fails to sustain this plotline. Instead the story veers off into noir territory - a house is broken into by two intruders and a family is taken hostage and chloroformed. A disabled woman (Julianne Moore) dies and her young son is devastated. When the deceased's husband (Matt Damon) and aunt (also Julianne Moore) pretend not to identify the intruders in a police lineup the son becomes suspicious along with the insurance investigator (Oscar Isaac) on the case. The setting up of the two plots is clever - a dig at race hysteria in the United States where murderous white people are getting away with murder while communities are blinded by racist anger - but the screenplay can't decide where to go with it. The sequence with the black family seems to have been introduced for shock value as a means to address race issues and has no connection to the murder/insurance scam scenario. There are two films stuck in here vying for first place and unfortunately neither gels. Everything is lifeless about this film from Clooney's direction to the deadpan performances by Damon and Moore. Skip this film.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:31 am

The Crown (Phillip Martin, Benjamin Caron, Phillipa Lowthorpe, Stephen Daldry, 2017) - Season 2 10/10

Season 2 of the series smacks down straight into the 10 year old but extremely turbulent marriage between Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Prince Phillip (Matt Smith). He is bored, frustrated with his role as husband to the monarch, a philanderer and harboring deep rooted familial trauma from his childhood. Meanwhile Great Britain is in turmoil after Prime Minister Anthony Eden's (Jeremy Northam) folly with the Suez Canal leading to his resignation and the appointment of Harold Macmillan (Antony Lesser). The new PM in turn not only suffers his own downfall over the Profumo affair in 1963 but silently tolerates his wife who carries on a 37 year affair with a bisexual politician ending only with her death. Meanwhile there is more turmoil of the heart on the homefront - a bitter Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby), still reeling over an old love affair, meets up with society photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Good) who turns her on because he shows contempt for her and the royal family - he literally seduces her with his camera in a great sequence set in his studio where he takes a photo of her with her bare shoulders making her seem naked and which he sends to be published in The Times causing many raised eyebrows. They get married and Margaret enters a hedonistic lifestyle fuelled by booze and wild parties. The series also delves into the Queen's meeting with Jackie Kennedy (Jodi Balfour), married to President Kennedy (Michael C. Hall) of the United States who is insecure with his wife's popularity and let's his jealousy surface behind closed doors. We also get glimpses of other royal characters - Lord Mountbatten (Greg Wise), the Queen Mother (Victoria Hamilton) and the Duke of Windsor (Alex Jennings). This superbly acted and impecably produced series covers the years 1957-64 and ends with the Queen having two more children and settling into a sort of resigned comfort in her own marriage. The next two seasons will have a brand new cast playing the same characters with Olivia Colman taking on the role of the Queen vacated by the marvelous Claire Foy.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:30 am

The Party (Sally Potter, 2017) 9/10

Potter dispenses with her usual experimental cinema and presents here a concise, highly compact and energetic chamber piece. A group of friends gather at a suburban house to celebrate the election of a politician (Kristin Scott Thomas). From the outset there appears to be something amiss - her husband (Timothy Spall) is in an almost catatonic state playing loud music and seemingly under the influence of booze. Their guests are an equally jittery lot - a lesbian couple (Cherry Jones & Emily Mortimer) expecting triplets, a cynical American (Patricia Clarkson) in tow with her unlikely partner (Bruno Ganz) who is a German aromatherapist and a coke snorting banker (Cillian Murphy) who arrives without his wife Marianne, who happens to be the hostess' political colleague and co-worker. The party dissolves into farce as one by one the characters reveal home truths unleashing long suppressed venom leading to a lot of sweating, vomiting and violence which also involves the discovery of a gun. The hilarious twist at the end caps the disastrous evening. Highly theatrical film, with flashes of Anthony Schaffer and Harold Pinter, is starkly shot by Aleksei Rodionov in crisp black and white and superbly acted by Scott Thomas, Clarkson and Spall perfectly in rhythm to the eclectic music on the soundtrack consisting of tangos, jazz, blues, salsa and gypsy music. Hysterically funny film.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:29 am

Girls Trip (Malcolm D. Lee, 2017) 5/10

Fitfully amusing chick flick - a gender reversal of "The Hangover" - has four long time friends reconnect after many years. The women are - a talk show host (Regina Hall), a writer (Queen Latifah) who runs a gossip blog, an anal divorcée (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the irreverant motor mouth (Tiffany Haddish) who spend a raucous weekend in New Orleans where they rediscover each other, have meltdowns, bitch each other out, go on the hunt for sex, trip on absinthe, get drunk, dance up a storm and stand up for each other when the going gets tough. The humour is loud, obnoxious and broad - if the all-white "Bridesmaids" had as it's major setpiece a scene with a character defecating. This one has two characters spraying urine on an unsuspecting crowd of people and goes one better with a hilarious scene that involves fellatio with a grapefruit and banana. The film has nothing really new to say. It's all been done in countless previous films but scores points by making the story about black female empowerment, the positivity of prayer and self-help sentiment. The actresses all give winning performances with Tiffany Haddish hilarious as the foul mouthed tough chick who never lets up with her constant stream of wisecracks. The film's major downside is its excessive length and with thirty minutes chopped off it could have been a far better ride.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:28 am

Lockout (Steve Saint Leger & James Mather, 2012) 7/10

This action packed nonsense has a strong whiff of the 1980s as it channels the wisecracking Bruce Willis from "Die Hard" and Kurt Russell's "Snake Plissken" from "Escape From New York". A former CIA-operative (Guy Pearce), wrongly convicted of espionage, is forced to rescue the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) who is being held hostage by a group of manic cutthroats in a maximum security prison in outer space. Campy and outlandish action film has the delightfully droll Pearce tossing verbal zingers as he kicks some serious ass while playfully bantering with the plucky hostage. Cheesy but great fun.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:28 am

The Foreigner (Martin Campbell, 2017) 4/10

During a terrorist bombing in London amongst the dead is a young chinese girl. Her grieving father (Jackie Chan), an old businessman, goes into a revenge fueled frenzy seeking out the killers. A cat-and-mouse scenario enfolds as he goes after an Irish politician (Pierce Brosnan) who years before belonged to the IRA and may hold the key to the killings. Chan, who starts out as a doddery old man, suddenly turns into "Rambo" during the relentlessly brutal action scenes and goes through his Hong Kong movie shtick which basically covers up his lack of acting. Brosnan, speaking with an Irish brogue, merely goes through the motions looking rather bored throughout. Boring film.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:28 am

Paycheck (John Woo, 2003) 1/10

I hate it when thrillers are complicated by science fiction mumbo jumbo. No, I don't want to "think" while watching an action flick. An engineer (Ben Affleck) fiddles with technology and uses it to create something new after which the company he works for erases his memory. Why? Something to do with patent infringement. When a billionaire (Aaron Eckhart) offers him a huge paycheck to work on a project he takes it on as a means to retire. After three years of working on the project his memory is erased and he discovers that he forfeited his paycheck and sent himself 20 random objects instead. With the FBI after him he goes on the run, helped by a girlfriend (Uma Thurman) he cannot remember, trying to decipher the mystery. Director Woo, firmly and sadly entrenched in North American culture, goes through the motions with tired action set pieces - a motorbike chase and an exploding laboratory that seem like leftover scenes from a 30 year old Bond film. Affleck is beyond awful in this extremely juvenile excuse for a thriller. Avoid this and watch anything by Hitchcock instead.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:26 am

Logan Lucky (Steven Soderberg, 2017) 7/10

White trash alert!! Soderberg's supposed retirement was pretty short lived as he returns with yet another story about a heist starring his favorite mascot. A former jock turned loser with a limp (Channing Tatum) and his bartender brother (Adam Driver), who lost an arm in Iraq, join up to pull off a heist during the NASCAR race in North Carolina. Joining the gang is their hot-car-riding kid sister (Riley Keough), a demolition expert (Daniel Craig), whom they plan to get out of jail (and back in again after the heist), along with the jailbird's two dim-witted brothers. These broadly drawn characters are nothing but redneck versions of the dudes in the "Oceans" trilogy or rejects from a Coen brothers project. There is nothing very original about the plot but Soderberg presents it with his own quirky touches and acute attention to detail which can be often very amusing and the heist setup and execution is nothing short of brilliant. The eclectic cast is great fun which includes Katherine Waterston as a health worker, Katie Holmes as the jock's ex-wife, Hillary Swank as a snarling FBI agent on the case, Seth McFarlane as an arrogant British race car driver and Dwight Yoakam as a prison warden. Homespun unadulterated fun.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am

Breakthrough (Andrew V. MacLaglen, 1979) 1/10

Extremely shoddy sequel to Sam Peckinpah's "Cross of Iron" (1977). During WWII Sergeant Steiner (Richard Burton) gets recalled from the Russian front to Paris where he is assigned to Normandy. He is sent to a unit under his previous Commander (Helmut Griem) who he detests but gets along with the German General (Curt Jurgens) who informs him of a plot to assassinate Hitler. He is given the task of conveying this news to an American Colonel (Robert Mitchum) and his aide (Michael Parks) informing them that after Hitler's death the German army will surrender to the Allied Forces. The blustering American General (Rod Steiger) refuses to buy the story which eventually fizzles out when the assassination plan fails and the perpetrators are caught. An amazing cast sleepwalks through this travesty - an emaciated Burton is obviously drunk throughout (his amazing voice never falters and he remains a pleasure to listen to even though he gets to mouth inane dialogue) and is too old for the part, Steiger overacts and shouts all his lines, Jurgens looking resplendant in his uniform seems to have wandered in from countless other war films where he played the same sort of part while Mitchum looks terribly bored in his few scenes. B-grade war film which was an absolute chore to sit through.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am

Tell No Tales (Lesley Fenton, 1939) 4/10

The editor (Melvyn Douglas) of a failing newspaper comes across a marked hundred dollar bill that is linked to a kidnapping ring. Hoping to boost sales of his paper he decides to trace all the people through whose hands the note passed. Dull "B" film with an equally dull leading lady (Louise Platt) has elements of noir and notwithstanding the film's frantic pace it fails to generate any excitement.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am

Hornet's Nest (Phil Karlson & Franco Cirini, 1970) 5/10

Old fashioned wartime heroics with an American star (in an Italian film) whose film career was coming to an end - although television would play a part in reviving it. During WWII in Italy a sabotage team is intercepted and killed by the Gestapo. The leader (Rock Hudson) of the commandos survives and is rescued by a group of children who are in hiding after witnessing the murder of their parents. The kids want revenge on the Nazis and they come to an agreement with the soldier - he teaches them how to shoot guns while they will help him destroy a local dam which was part of his mission. Sylva Koscina is a sexy doctor kidnapped by the kids to treat the wounded soldier. In a bizarre plot development the woman, a Nazi sympathiser, attacks the soldier with a pair of scissors and in return gets raped by him after which she supports the group's cause and the screenplay makes no further mention of this act of violence. A cat-and-mouse game ensues with the one-eyed German captain (Sergio Fantoni) who starts admiring the wily kids and the efforts of the American soldier in eluding him. The film is replete with violent scenes by and against children which was a rare sight then while the action scenes are surprisingly sparse - probably because the budget of the film was low. Lovely score by Ennio Morricone and the film was shot on beautiful locations in Italy's Po Valley. Hudson gives a forceful performance but Koscina is wasted and merely presented as a sex object being assaulted by the kids and later ravaged by Hudson - Sophia Loren was offered the role but turned it down. As an adventure film it is passable although the screenplay fails to delve in the psychological effects of war on children.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:24 am

For Heaven's Sake (George Seaton, 1950) 4/10

Two angels (Clifton Webb & Edmund Gwenn) come to earth to persuade take back a young girl (Gigi Perreau) who is waiting to be born as the daughter of a selfish couple - a stage director (Robert Cummings) and his actress wife (Joan Bennett) who are too involved in their careers to think about having a child. When the wife begins to waver one of the angels decides to change into a human - he takes on the persona of a Texan thus allowing Clifton Webb to do his shtick - in order to coax the couple to have a child. Corny whimsy is often just silly but charming Bennett and Joan Blondell (as a flashy tart-tongued scriptwriter) give the film some much needed life. Forgettable.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:24 am

One Night in Lisbon (Edward H. Griffith, 1941) 5/10

"Into every young Englishwoman's life must fall an American". This is the corny line the screenplay uses to signal Britain's need for American aid during the early years of WWII when the United States decided to sit out the War until they got bombed at Pearl Harbor. The Texan here - an annoyingly brash (aren't they all?) bomber pilot (Fred MacMurray) and a genteel Scottish lady (Madeleine Carroll) meet cute in a bunker during an air raid. He immediately comes onto her while she resists and is horrified. She is engaged to a Naval Commander (John Loder) and is encouraged by her friend (Billie Burke) to go after the Texan. Screwball elements in the plot have the two run around London as bombs fall and later end up in Lisbon getting mixed up with German spies. The two leads are upstaged in this rather silly farce by the superb character actors who surround them - Edmund Gwenn, Dame May Whitty and Reginald Denny.


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