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 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:44 am

Cleanskin (Hadi Hajaig, 2012) 8/10

Riveting action packed and violent thriller which purports to show how a terrorist is gently goaded into reaching a stage where he foolishly blows himself up all in the name of religion. The film also shows the political manoeuvrings of senior Government officials who use these misguided men to further their own causes while using the media to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. A British secret service agent (Sean Bean) is given the task by his handler (a steel-eyed, chain-smoking Charlotte Rampling) to find two British-Arab men who are planning to detonate bombs in downtown London. Gritty, realistic and very brutal film does not shy away from extreme violence - there are graphic scenes of men being shot point blank in the face and head, assorted stabbings, a man on fire and a woman being brutally beaten up. Sean Bean is superb as the tired, jaded and emotionally beaten up agent who gradually discovers he has been used and people he trusted have been bending the rules. Rampling, in a small but very important part, brings a quiet gravitas to her role showing exactly why an actress of her stature would accept such a seemingly inconsequential part in such a film. A film with a strong message and not for the faint of heart.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:44 am

If Winter Comes (Victor Saville, 1947) 4/10

Typical stuffy MGM production set in a small English village with Hollywood's approximation of genteel english characters. An upright middle-aged gentleman (Walter Pidgeon) is accused of impropriety when he comes to the help of a young girl (Janet Leigh) who has been ostracised because she is pregnant. Adding complications to his life is an unhappy marriage to a harpy (Angela Lansbury) and the return to the village of his former lover (Deborah Kerr). The disjointed screenplay - the film was probably cut by the studio - rushes through the events with not enough character development (Kerr is wasted here although she was being groomed as the new "Greer Garson" at the studio). Pidgeon comes off best along with Lansbury as the bitchy wife. Adding to the correct Brit atmosphere is the delightful Dame May Whitty who also gets a short shrift thanks to abrupt cutting. Dreary film.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:43 am

Passion (Brian De Palma, 2012) 8/10

Tough boss (Rachel McAdams) nurtures naive protégé (Noomi Rapace) and then calmly takes credit for work done by her. The cat and mouse battle gradually escalates into a fever pitch of emotions which results in revenge, kinky sex and murder. De Palma's remake of Alain Corneau's "Crime d'amour" faithfully follows the original (including the amusing reference to "All About Eve") but brings to it his usual Hitchcock-like touches helped in great part by Pino Donaggio's score (which is clearly an hommage to Bernard Herrmann's chilling music in "Psycho") and the off-kilter cinematography of José Luis Alcane which, as the story progresses, gets more and more unbalanced with camera placements emphasizing the reverse dynamics of the two characters. McAdams is fun as the bitch-from-hell keeping a sunny tone throughout, but Rapace is chilling as the quiet mousey woman who reaches the depth of humiliation only to find in herself the reserve to strike back with equal ingenuity and ambition as her boss. De Palma is not afraid to bring many moments of camp to the project - a kabuki mask, phallic toys during sex scenes, lashings of lesbian action which have less to do with sexuality but more about possession and narcissism and flashes of the inevitable knife followed by a vicious slashing. De Palma is riveting in his insistence of following his usual path of excess bordering on self parody but with Hitchcock no longer around these films make for one hell of a wet-dream for fans of the Master.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:43 am

The Bottom of the Bottle (Henry Hathaway, 1956) 5/10

Stale but rare melodrama based on an autobiographical novel by Georges Simenon with a Cain and Abel allegory. A rich lawyer (Joseph Cotten) who has made a comfortable life for himself lives with his neglected wife (Ruth Roman) on a huge ranch. Into his life drops his alcoholic fugitive brother (Van Johnson) who wants help in crossing the border into Mexico to join his impoverished wife and kids. The brothers clash, there is a flood followed by a manhunt with rich brother leading a posse against wayward brother. Both stars look old, weary and bored throughout. The film has striking 1950s architecture with expansive interiors typical of many films of the era to fill up the cinemascope screen. There is also superb camera work by Lee Garmes.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:42 am

A Room With a View (Nicholas Renton, 2007) 4/10

E.M. Forster's quirky story about the clash of cultures and social classes during the Edwardian era gets a sumptuous but extremely uneven television retread. The story rests on the coming together (a romantic kiss in the sun drenched fields of Tuscany) of two opposites - the refined but passionate uppercrust Lucy Honeychurch (Elaine Cassidy) and the bright but brooding lower-middleclass George Emerson (Rafe Spall). Unfortunately the two actors playing the parts have no chemistry which tilts the favour of the story onto the peripheral eccentric characters (played by Sophie Thompson, Sinéad Cussack, Mark Williams, Timothy Spall, Elizabeth McGovern, Timothy West, Laurence Fox, Tom Purbeck) in the story who seem more interesting than the two young lovers. This adaptation also has the misfortune of hovering over it the superb big screen classic by James Ivory and its superb cast - Helena Bonham-Carter and Julian Sands as the romantic lovers along with a brilliant supporting cast (Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Simon Callow, Denholm Elliott, Rosemary Leach, Patrick Godfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Rupert Graves). The film only comes alive during the outdoor shots set in Florence, the Tuscan countryside and in Rome.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:42 am

Howards End (Hettie Macdonald, 2017) 8/10

E.M. Forster's classic story about class divisions in Edwardian England gets a superb television adaptation although it can't quite compare to the brilliant big screen version by James Ivory. Three families - the reserved upper class Wilcoxes, the idealistic middleclass Schlegels and the lower-middleclass Basts - come together and clash. At the center of the story is the house (Howards End) which plays a big part in the lives of all three families which involves treachery, lies, love and death. Sumptuously produced four-part film is a feast for the eyes perfectly capturing the nuances of an era in England which was evolving rapidly in terms of class struggle - the film's choice of changing the race of one character, adding a black maid and an Indian doctor (not exactly a realistic interpretation of the times) gives the film a modern touch and adheres to Forster's personal stance on racism and manages to seamlessly fit into the narrative. Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen, Philippa Coulthard, Julia Ormond, Tracey Ullmann and Joseph Quinn are all very good (in the parts played in the original by Emma Thompson (who won an Oscar), Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham-Carter, Vanessa Redgrave, Prunella Scales and Samuel West).

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 am

The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim, 2011) 5/10

A mercenary (Willem Dafoe) is sent by a mysterious European organization to hunt down the last surviving Tasmanian tiger. Beautifully shot film on location in Tasmania has an underdeveloped plot as the hunter comes into contact with a drugged out widow (Frances O'Connor) and her two young kids and is thwarted by the local townfolk - in particular a "suitor" (Sam Neill) of the widow - and environmentalists who are suspicious about his intentions. Dafoe is grim throughout finally breaking down in the last scene. The film's best scene is actual archival footage of the last known Tasmanian tiger (a carnivorous marsupial - wolf-like creature with stripes on its back like a tiger) once found on mainland Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea but now extinct.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 am

Fatherland (Christopher Menaul, 1994) 6/10

Fascinating premise based on the book by Thomas Harris - it's 1964 and Adolph Hitler won WWII and now rules over Germania which includes all of Europe including Great Britain. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor became King and Queen of Britain but have been exiled, Churchill escaped the Nazis and died in exile and Joseph Kennedy is the President of the United States. Hitler, still fighting Russia, hopes to make an ally of America and decides to "open-up" Germania to the world by inviting the American President for a visit. Germania is a police state with the Gestapo keeping a close eye on things. An SS officer (Rutger Hauer) and an American journalist (Miranda Richardson) find themselves working together trying to solve a mystery involving a terrifying secret which the government has hidden from the world. Unfortunately the premise proves more interesting than the main plot which moves at a deathly pace. The film scores points for its spectacular production design creating, via effects, Nazi Albert Speer's actual architectural designs which were in reality planned but could not come to fruition due to Germany's defeat. The two leads are good but the police procedural section of the film bogs it down.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:17 am

The Angry Hills (Robert Aldrich, 1959) 5/10

Atmospheric but extremely long rambling WWII thriller based on the novel by Leon Uris. A journalist (Robert Mitchum) is forcibly handed a list of greek double agents to deliver to the British. He soon finds himself being chased by the Nazis and greek collaborators (Marius Goring, Stanley Baker, Theodore Bikel) and romanced and abetted by women (Gia Scala, Elisabeth Müller) along the way. Slow film is only memorable for a startling nude sequence set in a club (filmed for the European viewers but cut in the USA) and for its great supporting cast of which also memorable are Sir Donald Wolfit, Sebastian Cabot, Leslie Phillips and Kieron Moore. Mitchum gives an indifferent performance looking bored throughout. Shot entirely on location in Greece.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:17 am

South of Suez (Lewis Seiler, 1940) 4/10

Slow indifferent murder-mystery set in Tanganyika and London - a diamond is stolen and a mine foreman (George Brent) is falsely accused. He makes a run for it, changes his identity, falls in love with the murder victim's daughter (Brenda Marshall) and on the eve of their engagement is arrested and put on trial for another murder. A stiff and bored looking Brent has no chemistry with Marshall but they are luckily surrounded by a great group of character actors - George Tobias, Lee Patrick, Eric Blore, Miles Mander, Cecil Kellaway, Mary Forbes - all of whom try to bring this musty little film to life. Strictly a B-production.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:16 am

The Child in Time (Julian Farino, 2017) 7/10

A study in grief and loss as a devastated couple (Benedict Cumberbatch & Kelly Macdonald) try to come to terms with the sudden disappearance of their four year old daughter from a supermarket. The non-linear screenplay avoids melodrama and goes back and forth in time showing the events from the perspective of the husband - the child gets lost while in his care - as we seen glimpses of the tragic event, the couple's estrangement, his day-to-day existence at his job, interacting with close friends and a bitersweet reunion with his wife. Life goes on but the pain never goes away. The film's striking use of sound underlines the mood of the characters. Both stars are superb.

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

Postby Reza » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:16 am

Dr. Monica (William Keighley & William Dieterle, 1934) 6/10

Kay Francis, almost completely forgotten, has a very contemporary air about her - all her characters seem fresh and real and could be part of everyday life today. Once the top star at Warners she was quickly supplanted by the likes of Bette Davis who managed to get all the prestige productions at the studio. Francis specialized in soap operas playing characters from all spheres. Dr. Monica (Kay Francis), a physician, finds herself looking after a friend (Jean Muir) who is pregnant. The doctor is unaware that the unborn child's father (Warren William) is her own husband. The complications of this pre-Code film are taken care of by the censors at the time as the film has a pat ending. Francis goes through the film acting noble, dressed in flattering sexy gowns (by Orry-Kelly) and doing the "right" thing. She gives a star performance as expected by her fans and gives this "women's picture" a touch of class. Joe Breen of the censors pressurized the studio to cut the film calling the three female characters "a lesbian, a nymphomaniac and a prostitute" (the chic architect friend played by Verree Teasdale) which was absolute nonsense. The screenplay bravely handles the theme of unwed motherhood also hinting at abortion which through careful cutting is avoided but understood through dialogue and the superb interplay between Francis and Muir. Pretty racy stuff for 1934 handled by an expert cast led by the radiant Kay Francis.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:47 am

Uncertain Glory (Raoul Walsh, 1944) 7/10

One of Flynn's many WWII themed films but the least known and one which he produced as well. The story is low on action and concentrates on the moral dilemma of a condemned french career criminal (Errol Flynn) who escapes execution when the British drop bombs on occupied France. He is pursued and caught by a relentless cop (Paul Lukas). The wily prisoner convinces his patriotic captor to allow him to give himself up to the Gestapo as the saboteur who has recently blown up a bridge against which the germans plan to execute 100 frenchmen. Secretly he has no intention of going through with the plan but interaction with the townfolk and a girl make him think otherwise. Typical propaganda film has a heavy dose of patriotism to feed the public during those war years. Flynn makes a cynical but dashing anti-hero in this slow but compelling story.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:47 am

Private Detective 62 (Michael Curtiz, 1933) 6/10

Snappy little Warner Bros programmer which utilizes its contract players and technicians to good effect - director Curtiz, cinematographer Tony Gaudio, who uses shadows to create suspense, and leading actor William Powell who specialized in playing sophisticated sleuths was just a year away from becoming a huge star courtesy of "The Thin Man". A disgraced diplomat (William Powell) returns home to find himself without a job so on the spur of the moment joins a second rate detective agency. Soon he finds himself mixed up (and in love) with a socialite gambler (Margaret Lindsay) who is involved with blackmail and murder. Starts off slow but picks up steam as the two leads create sparks courtesy of witty dialogue. Pre-code drama is nothing special but has an effortlessly charming performance by Powell.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:46 am

These Wilder Years (Roy Rowland, 1955) 6/10

Low key but effective social drama about adoption which has at it's center the first ever teaming of Cagney and Stanwyck very late in their careers. A steel tycoon (James Cagney), having achieved all in life, decides to search for the illegitimate son he gave up during his youth. He faces a gentle clash from the sympathetic head of an orphanage (Barbara Stanwyck) who refuses to divulge the whereabouts of the child put up for adoption. He hires a lawyer (Walter Pidgeon) to fight his case but loses only to find himself getting close to a young teenage girl at the orphanage who is about to give birth to a baby. The stars both give restrained performances keeping their natural toughness simmering beneath the surface. Poignant drama with a message.


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