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 May 05, 2018 8:00 am

A Million Ways to Die in the West (Seth MacFarlaine, 2014) 5/10

MacFarlaine spoofs the Old West but he's no Mel Brooks as the film's tepid jokes make obvious. A cowardly sheep farmer (Seth MacFarlaine) is dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) for a rich dandy (Neil Patrick Harris) and then falls in love with a sexy cowgirl (Charlize Theron) who is the wife of a black clad murdering bandit (Liam Neeson). His best buddy (Giovanni Ribisi) is a virgin in love with a hooker (Sarah Silverman) who refuses to have sex with him. Slapstick nonsense allows Theron to show her comedic skills although MacFarlaine's character is too obnoxious and the jokes, although coming fast and furious, are somewhat stale and lifted from other movies and tv shows from the past.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 8:00 am

Frontera (Michael Berry, 2014) 7/10

It's always a pleasure to see Ed Harris on screen. He is a stately presence and one of the best character actors on screen. A prank results in the accidental death of a woman (Amy Madigan) and an illegal Mexican immigrant (Michael Peña) - he crosses over into Arizona - is accused of killing her. Matters take a turn for the worst when his wife (Eva Longoria) crosses over too, gets molested and arrested. The dead woman's husband (Ed Harris), a former lawman, tries to solve the mystery. The plot is ripe with melodramatic contrivances but the fine cast underplays and director Berry brings wonderful gritty quality to this modern oater with lovely scenes shot on dusty orange plains as Harris rides on a horse, eyes squinting, cheeks hollow and deep voice whispering out his dialogue.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:59 am

Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo, 2018) 6/10

This is the greatest hits version of the Avengers - everyone and their french poodles get to appear - as they band in groups to combat the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin) who is collecting six coloured "infinity stones" (don't ask...) to fit into his glove which will make him all-powerful. It's Marvel comics so we go along with this shit as written. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is the first to tangle with Thanos in outer space. With New York under attack we quickly get to see the Avengers pairing up - Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) - who seems to be having the equivalent of erectile disfunction because he has trouble transforming into the angry green giant - Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) discussing pregnancy with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and trading quips with Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Meanwhile in Scotland - Vision (Paul Bettany) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are attacked by the cadaver-like henchmen of Thanos and to their rescue come the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). In space the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana and their assorted companions) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battle it out with the "big man on campus". Wakanda gets a look-in with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and his tribe where a major battle - shades of "Zulu" and "The Lord of the Rings" - is fought with most of the Avengers including War Machine (Don Cheadle) joining in. Too many cooks crammed into the film as they stir the broth which goes on and on from one battle to another with a number of major characters getting killed as Thanos manages to get his glove filled with the infinity stones. The film ends on this somber note with a post-credits scene where Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) manages to send a distress signal thus leading the story into an epic sequel promised for 2019. This film is bigger, darker but repetitious with it's non-stop scenes of battle and mayhem making it terribly monotonous and instantly forgetable.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:59 am

The Man in the Net (Michael Curtiz, 1959) 7/10

A man is caught in a "net" - a bad marriage which segues into a manhunt when he is accused of murdering his wife. Old fashioned melodrama is satisfying despite the potholes in the plot. A successful Madison Avenue advertising executive (Alan Ladd) chucks in his job, moves to the countryside and starts a fresh life wanting to be a painter. He also wants to get his wife (Carolyn Jones), a dipsomaniac, away from the big city where she suffered a nervous breakdown. The marriage collapses because his flighty wife wants the rich life, wants to move back to the city and creates an image in the community that she suffers spousal abuse. When she mysteriously disappears the townfolk form a lynch mob headed by a sleazy cop (Charles McGraw) forcing the husband to go on the lam. Helping him hide and solve the mystery are five children who have befriended him and a sympathetic friend (Diane Brewster). Ladd gives a lifeless performance sleepwalking through the role - he was only 46 at the time but looks 60 and tired and would die a few years later at age 50. Jones has a flamboyant role playing a drunk floozie and seems to be giving a Bette Davis impersonation from the camp classic "Beyond the Forest" - one sympathises with her stuck in a dull marriage to the stone-faced Ladd. Striking camerawork by John Seitz who sets up noir-like shots.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:59 am

Sirocco (Curtis Bernhardt, 1951) 6/10

Once upon a time there was a place called Casablanca where everybody came to Rick's Cafe - the locals, the expatriates and even the occupying Nazis - and the owner stuck his neck out for nobody. This film also has an exotic backdrop - Damascus in 1922 during the French occupation of Syria. A gunrunner (Humphrey Bogart), who sticks his neck out for nobody, supplies ammunition to the Syrian rebels barely keeping one step ahead of the law headed by a French cop (Lee J. Cobb). When he falls in love with the cop's mistress (Märta Torén) matters come to a head - should he escape with her or help the cop hookup with the rebels to broker peace. The film scores major points for creating the correct Middle East atmosphere although shot on the Paramount backlot - the old Damascus alleyways, citadel, underground tombs, the cafe where everyone gathers for drinks - but the screenplay is a letdown as it tries desperately to invoke memories of Bogart's previous classic. Here he plays a slipshod version of Rick and while Torén does not have the mystery of Ingrid Bergman she is quite attractive in her own right and plays well opposite Bogart. The film's best performance is by Cobb who mercifully underplays throughout as the relentless but humane cop hoping to find a solution to all the violence around him. The film is beautifully shot by Burnett Guffey who would go on to win two Oscars for "From Here to Eternity" and "Bonnie and Clyde".

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:58 am

Paratrooper / The Green Beret (Terence Young, 1953) 4/10

Standard B actioner about a British parachute training school with a Canadian (Alan Ladd) joining up and locking horns with a bunch of Brits played by Leo Genn, Stanley Baker, Donald Houston and Harry Andrews who all go through the motions with every cliché intact in the screenplay. Albert R. Broccoli produced and a number of his team here - director Young, screen-writer Richard Maibaum, cinematographer Ted Moore and stuntman Bob Simmons much later joined up for the Bond films.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:58 am

Hell on Frisco Bay (Frank Tuttle, 1955) 4/10

Stale revenge drama with a cop (Alan Ladd) who comes out of jail and seeks the man who framed him. The film is stolen by Edward G. Robinson as the sociopath racketeer who thumbs a finger at the cop. Joanne Dru is decorative as a torch singer while Fay Wray makes a comeback as a has-been actress in love with the crook's stooge (Paul Stewart). Ladd is typically tough but stiff throughout.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:58 am

Crisis (Richard Brooks, 1950) 7/10

Underrated political thriller with one of Cary Grant's rare dramatic performances. An American doctor (Cary Grant) on vacation in a Latin American country with his wife (Paula Raymond) gets caught up in a revolution against the country's President (José Ferrer). The couple finds themselves kidnapped and brought to the palace to perform brain surgery on the corrupt ruler who may die without the operation. Doctor's dilemma - to save or not to save - along with the revolutionary leader (Gilbert Roland) urging him to let slip the scalpel. The film gets the full MGM treatment with the corrupt ruler and his ambitious wife (Signe Hasso) clearly modeled on Argentina's Juan and Eva Perón. Grant is very good in a straight dramatic role although one critic quipped that he looked ill at ease and would rather be holding a martini instead of a scalpel in his hand. Interesting to see two stars from MGM's silent era - Ramon Novarro and Antonio Moreno - in supporting roles. Richard Brooks wrote the screenplay and made his debut as director with this highly charged political melodrama. A great start to a distinguished career.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:57 am

The Caretaker (Clive Donner, 1963) 8/10

Film version of the acclaimed absurdist play by Harold Pinter with all three actors from the Broadway production repeating their roles. Low budget film was partially financed by a host of film and theatre personalities - Richard Burton, Peter Sellers, Leslie Caron, Peter Hall, Noel Coward, Elizabeth Taylor. Claustrophobic drama set in a cramped room full of clutter where three men indulge in powerplay games. A feeble minded man (Robert Shaw) invites a tramp (Donald Pleasence) into his apartment and offers him a job as a caretaker. His brother (Alan Bates), on the other hand, shows contempt for the derelict and taunts and harrasses him. Superbly acted by all three stars as they get to speak Pinter's monologues ranting and railing against life in general. Starkly photographed by Nicolas Roeg.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:57 am

Rampage (Brad Peyton, 2018) 7/10

Summer appears to have arrived early with this popcorn movie in spring. Hollywood has no originality and here joins together bits and pieces from "King Kong", "Jurassic Park" and assorted other monster-on-the loose flicks from all over the place and comes up with yet another man-against-the-beast roller coaster ride. Man is a primatologist (Dwayne Johnson) who has raised an albino gorilla - they communicate through sign language. When a genetic experiment goes awry and the pathogen infects the primate all hell breaks loose as he gets aggressive, starts growing and develops extra strength. Two cartoonish evil scientists hold the antidote and it becomes a race against time to stop the rampaging gorilla from destroying Chicago. Adding to the chaos are a wolf and an alligator also affected by the pathogen. As the trio descend on the Windy City and start destroying it - shades of 9/11 - the army, our hero and a discredited geneticist (Naomie Harris) try to save the day. Over-the-top film does not let up with various exciting set pieces along the way - the gorilla getting loose on an airplane and causing it to crash, the three beasts climbing up a skyscraper, assorted narrow escapes and an amusing homage to Kong with a delightful twist involving the evil "beauty" who gets clasped in the giant paw of the alligator. This ridiculous premise never lets up with unbelievable action sequences that come at breakneck speed. Dwayne Johnson is his usual tongue-in-cheek self and easily carries off this nonsense on his massive shoulders trading quips with the primate while fending off the most death defying situations. Naomie Harris is equally game as the plucky heroine while Jeffery Dean Morgan is a hoot as the self styled cowboy and full-time government goon who comes to the rescue while drawling dialogue like John Wayne on speed. Great fun if instantly forgettable.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:56 am

Danger Signal (Robert Florey, 1945) 7/10

Odd mixture of noir, suspense and psychotherapy (Rosemary DeCamp plays a psychiatrist with theories) along with a hokey homespun romance. A serial killer (Zachary Scott) - who marries women for their money and then kills them - on the run from cops turns up in Los Angeles pretending to be a wounded war veteran and moves into a house as a boader. He charms the old lady in the house and romances her two daughters - the older one (Faye Emerson) who eventually gets suspicious of him and the younger one (Mona Freeman) who falls in love with him. Talky melodrama is superbly photographed by the great James Wong Howe who creates shadows as in all noirs. Scott was always an interesting actor on screen - nobody played sleazeballs as well as him - and all his scenes opposite the equally interesting Emerson create sparks. The film coasts on the cottails of better films from the past - Hitchcock's "Suspicion", "Shadow of a Doubt" and "Spellbound" but manages to hold interest within it's strictly B niche.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:56 am

The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006) 7/10

A recent graduate discovers that a job at a magazine can be full of anxiety, pain and back-stabbing "fun" while working for Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep) - bitch-from-hell and editor-in-chief of Runaway fashion magazine. She is sophisticated, powerful, ruthless and a workaholic and makes life hell for her team - the stylist (Stanley Tucci), her first assistant (Emily Blunt) and the newly appointed second assistant (Anne Hathaway) who actually wants to be a journalist but decides to try her luck at the magazine for a year. During that year she quickly learns the tricks of the trade by keeping one step ahead of her boss, supplants the first assistant but loses her boyfriend in the process. At a critical junction she realises what all she has lost and decides to turn her life around. The film's amusing premise relies on the over-the-top central character of the editor (based on Dame Anna Wintour - editor in chief of Vogue) who Streep plays as a sort of Cruella de Ville sporting a chic white hairdo, dressed in Chanel and Prada, sporting Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo stilettos with a perpetually pained expression on her face as she rolls her eyes at everything and everyone around her. Both Blunt and Hathaway, in their first important roles, are very good as the hapless assistants who try to survive the onslaught of their demanding boss. Streep was nominated for an Oscar for her hilarious but one-note performance.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:55 am

Miracle of the White Stallions (Arthur Hiller, 1963) 7/10

Walt Disney glorifies the famous Lipizzaner horses - purebred snow-white horses with centuries of tradition - from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna in this true story of their evacuation during WWII. The Germans took all the mares and sent them to Czechoslovakia leaving behind only the stallions which Alois Podhajsky (Robert Taylor), head of the School, and his wife (Lili Palmer) manage to evacuate with the help of a sympathetic german General (Curt Jürgens) to the countryside. The film was shot at actual locations in Vienna particularly at the spectacular castle, Hermesvilla, the summer retreat built by Emperor Franz Josef for his wife the Empress Elisabeth. Once the stallions are safe here it becomes a necessity to ensure the return of the mares as well. For this the school puts on a show for visiting American General Patton in the hope he will help retreive the mares. Lovely little film that brings to life the magic of these performing horses amidst an important history lesson that saved not only these magnificent animals but kept alive a centuries old cultural tradition.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:55 am

Den of Thieves (Christian Gudegast, 2018) 7/10

Gritty Los Angeles bank heist saga has a strong whiff of Michael Mann's "Heat" although less pretentious and so a much better film. A grizzled and corrupt cop (Gerald Butler), from the elite LA county Sheriff's department, gets into a cat-and-mouse game with the state's most accomplished bank robber (Pablo Schreiber) and his team. Stuck in the middle of the two men is a bartender (O'Shea Jackson Jr. - son of rapper Ice Cube) who the crook needs as a getaway driver while the cop has him beat up to use as an informant. Director Gudegast seems to have done his homework well as he pieces together his film from various heist flicks and manages to make all the action sequences seem very fresh - the slow buildup to the heist, the robbery itself followed by a twist that leads upto a shootout. Luckily the film's excessive length does not drag the film down - the domestic dramas involving the protagonists adds to their characters with Butler particularly good as the boozy, raspy voiced cop with marital woes. The film is no masterpiece but it delivers enough action, suspense and bravado to include it amongst the best heist movies.

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

Postby Reza » Sat May 05, 2018 7:54 am

A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018) 9/10

One of the best and creepiest monster movies of all times. Expertly directed film which takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of horror and doing it by showing minimum blood and gore. Instead the film uses the actors' facial expressions and exceptional sound design to create a mood of abject terror. The screenplay plunges the audience into a harrowing post-apocalyptic world where any loud sound immediately attracts monsters which kill with ferocious intensity. A family tries to survive this hellish life - Dad (John Krasinski), Mom (Emily Blunt) and their three kids, a deaf older daughter and two younger sons. The film picks up a year after a tragedy occurs finding the family still tiptoeing in silence, speaking to each other in sign language and walking barefoot on self created sandy paths scrounging for food in desolate stores and abandoned homes. The sight of Mom, now pregnant, creates a horrific image of what that entails and what is to come. This is an edge of the seat thriller which carefully orchestrates silence and noise to create moments of intense dread. In fact sound becomes a distinct character in itself. Superbly acted film - Blunt brings back memories of Ripley from the "Alien" series as she battles for survival trying to save her children from the large saliva dripping monster. Extremely entertaining and crowd pleasing film and a must-see.


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