Page 1 of 387

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:50 am
by Reza
The Great Man's Lady (William A. Wellman, 1942) 5/10

Rambling pioneer drama related to a reporter in flashback by an old lady at age 109 years. An uppercrust girl (Barbara Stanwyck) from Philadelphia gets married to an ambitious man (Joel McCrea) and they set out for California to find fame and fortune. Along the way to the top there is tragedy, floods and the death of their kids. Thinking she is dead he gets married and becomes a bigamist and rises up the political ladder while she has an affair with a gambler (Brian Donlevy). The film covers over 70 years of history in 90 minutes making the plot seem rushed and disjointed. Stanwyck has all the best scenes playing the spirited woman who sacrifices her marriage for her husband's new life with another family.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:49 am
by Reza
The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2017) 7/10

Very funny black comedy that lampoons Stalinist Russia. It's almost as if the Monty Python team have been resurrected. The Russian leader dies suddenly and his Inner Circle - Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), the sadistic secret police chief (Simon Russell Beale) among others - flail about in rambunctious fashion trying to plot against each other and seize power. The entire cast is superb - trading wicked barbs - playing bumbling and weak-minded buffoons. Political satire at its slapstick best.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:49 am
by Reza
The Unfaithful (Vincent Sherman, 1947) 8/10

Gripping noir is a remake of W. Somerset Maugham's play, "The Letter", but this version goes off in other directions and has a different end to the first two versions which starred Jeanne Eagels in 1929 and Bette Davis in 1940. A socialite (Ann Sheridan) is attacked late at night in her home by an intruder and she stabs him to death in self defence. Distraught she tells the police the man was a stranger and is consoled by her husband (Zachary Scott) and close friend and lawyer (Lew Ayres). When later it emerges that she may have known the dead man she is put on trial for murder. The story is intact with ingredients of a first class noir - murder, lies, deception, blackmail and a femme fatale - only here the screenplay veers off into interesting tangents about life, love and marriage. The extremely underrated Ann Sheridan is superb as the conflicted woman who may or may not be hiding something and Eve Arden as a bitchy but concerned relative is hilarious. This version is not as great as the 1940 version by William Wyler but holds its own as a superb noir.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:48 am
by Reza
Internes Can't Take Money (Alfred Santell, 1937) 7/10

Paramount here first brought Dr. Kildare to the screen followed by a series of films by MGM (with Lew Ayres) and much later the hit tv show (with Richard Chamberlain) during the 1960s. Joel McCrea plays the doctor - here an intern - in this "B" melodrama with a plot that centers on Barbara Stanwyck as an ex-con searching for her baby. For a low budget film this is memorably shot in expressionistic style by Theodor Sparkuhl who had honed his skills making german silents for Lubitsch. Tautly directed film with memorable art deco sets - the gleaming white clinic and hospital - sets the tone for a hard hitting melodrama involving several medical procedures, a down and out dame (Barbara Stanwyck) who is willing to steal and sleep with a crook to find her baby, a tough as nails hood (Lloyd Nolan as a precursor to Bogart) and his gang operating under Runyan-esque codes, who come to the rescue. McCrea and Stanwyck's strong screen chemistry holds this little gem of a film together and was the start of several screen teamings for both.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:48 am
by Reza
Gaby (Curtis Bernhardt, 1956) 5/10

MGM dusts off it's old property (this is a remake of "Waterloo Bridge", based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood, and already filmed twice before in 1931 and 1940) for their new star - Leslie Caron. In London, during WWII, a french ballerina (Leslie Caron) meets and falls in love with an American G.I. (John Kerr). Due to red tape they cannot get married and he gets shipped off to the front and is later presumed dead. Devasted at the news she thinks her life is over and is reduced to prostitution finding solace in the arms of other soldiers. When he suddenly re-appears and discovers her past the turd hits the fan. Famous tearjerker this time comes to the screen in colour and cinemascope but doesn't hold a candle to the 1940 version. Caron is charming and her french background brings a different flavour to the part played so superbly by Vivien Leigh. John Kerr is too lightweight as a leading man unlike a star with the presence of Robert Taylor who made such a great teaming with Leigh. The material is pretty trite to begin with and save for watching the lovely Caron with her lilting voice and accent this is a pretty ordinary film which seems to have been put out to pasture as it is hardly ever revived.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:47 am
by Reza
Enchanted April (Mike Newell, 1991) 6/10

Charming if rather inconsequential fluff with the Italian locations (Portofino) easily the standout. Four women - all strangers - decide to pool in and rent a castle in Italy and spend a month there in April. They are all in desperate need for change and want to get away from family, lovers, husbands and friends and just enjoy the quiet of the Italian coutryside. Rose (Miranda Richardson) is married to a womanizer (Jim Broadbent), Lottie (Josie Lawrence) is bored with her domineering husband (Alfred Molina), Lady Caroline (Polly Walker) is tired of the social scene in London and Mrs Fisher (Joan Plowright) is a lonely widow with an acid tongue. The women bond but complications arise when the two husbands arrive. Slow paced drama is exquisitely produced with a wonderful cast. The screenplay, Joan Plowright and the costumes were all nominated for Oscars.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:47 am
by Reza
The Enchanted Cottage (John Cromwell, 1945) 9/10

Superb tearjerker and one of the classic romantic films has unfortunately been all but forgotten. A tale of two lost souls who learn to live and love while under the magical influence of a country cottage. A lonely and homely girl (Dorothy McGuire), working as a maid at the cottage of a widow (Mildred Natwick), meets a disfigured man (Robert Young) who has run away from the world to come live at the cottage. They find much in common in their drab existence and get married out of convenience. Gradually their love for each other makes them both come out of their shell and he sees a lovely vivacious woman in her while she sees in him a dashing and handsome man - a "spell" cast by the enchanted cottage. The couple are oblivious to their physical faults which others around them - the widow, a blind piano player (Herbert Marshall superbly understated) and the man's mother (Spring Byington - can clearly see. The film's outstanding production values - the sets, lighting by Ted Tetzlaff and the lushly romantic Oscar nominated score - help to create a dream-like mood suited to this uplifting romantic story. Young, McGuire, Natwick and Marshall all give outstanding performances. A film with a very strong message and not to be missed.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:46 am
by Reza
They Dare Not Love (James Whale, 1941) 6/10

WWII propaganda film, with a strong anti-isolationist message for the United States, was James Whale's last film (made under conflict because either he was fired or he left because it was completed with the help of Victor Fleming and Charles Vidor). Rare forgotten film has Whale's polish very much in evidence. An Austrian aristocrat (George Brent) escapes to London when the country is taken over by the Nazis. Falling in love with an emigrée (Martha Scott) he realises that he has betrayed his people, who hold him in much esteem, and barters his life for the release of seven important Austrians in concentration camps and makes this pact with an aristocratic Nazi (Paul Lukas). The sea journey back is fraught with danger as he discovers he and his lover, who finds herself trapped on the boat, are prisoners and the Germans don't intend to keep their end of the bargain. There is nothing new in the story but the stars manage to hold the plot together. Brent phones in his usual nonchalant persona while Scott, fresh from her Oscar nominated performance for her debut the previous year in "Our Town", adds to the romance quotient. Peter Cushing, in an early bit, shines as a commanding captain of a British ship.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:46 am
by Reza
Fargo - Season 2 (2015) 7/10

The irreverent black humour combined with brutal murders is always fun to watch but the plot this season - a hit-and-run by a hairdresser (a very annoying Kirstin Dunst) results in the eventual death of a young hood (Kieran Culkin) after her husband, a butcher (Jesse Plemons), stabs him in their garage after which he proceeds to chop up the body to get rid of it. The coked up hood had earlier shot dead three people at a diner just before getting run over. His crime family - headed by matriarch Jean Smart - is needless to say not amused. Investigating the spate of murders is a cop (Patrick Wilson) and his father-in-law, the sheriff (Ted Danson). The story, set in 1979 Minnesota, is brilliantly created via its production design and costumes. However, none of these characters are particularly interesting and the script is devoid of cruel malice until episode 6 when the series begins to kick ass and it becomes a virtual blood bath. The show, Dunst, Bokeem Woodbine (as an assassin), Plemons and Smart were all nominated for Emmys.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:46 am
by Reza
Fargo - Season 1 (2014) 9/10

Black comedy (in a ten-part series) set in rural Minnesota involving deceit, malice and death. A mysterious drifter (Billy Bob Thornton) arrives in a small town and soon involves a meek insurance salesman (Martin Freeman) in a hilariously sadistic chain of events involving several brutal murders with two goofy cops (Allison Tolman & Colin Hanks) trying to crack the case. The premise - taken from Joel & Ethan Coen's 1996 movie but with no relation to that plot - keeps the location, time span and familiar quirky characters alive. Emmy award for best miniseries with all four actors nominated. Outstanding.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:45 am
by Reza
Date Night (Shawn Levy, 2010) 7/10

A good comedy is hard to find and here a seemingly very ordinary start to the plot gets raised to often hilarious levels thanks to the superb comic timing of the two stars. A suburban couple (Steve Carell & Tina Fey), stuck in a drab marriage, decide to go to NYC on a dinner date just for a change. Soon they are upto their necks in trouble as they are mistaken for the wrong couple by two goons brandishing guns and working for a crooked D.A. They find themselves being chased all over the city - the car chase sequence is a riot - and they end up running across an eclectic bunch of loonies played hilariously by stars in cameos - Mark Wahlberg (minus his shirt), James Franco & Mila Kunis (as a grungy couple), Ray Liotta (as a mobster). The film recalls fond memories of Martin Scorsese's "After Hours", which was also an hilarious chase through NYC at night with equally weird characters. The two leads improvise a lot of their comic scenes together playing it absolutely straight which makes each of their outlandish predicaments even more funny, whether trading barbs with each weirdo (the word "vagina" is used a lot) or pole dancing as a means of seducing a crook. Witty and entertaining.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:44 am
by Reza
The Bodyguard (Mick Jackson, 1992) 5/10

As a film this is pretty bad - a bodyguard (Kevin Costner) is hired for a singer-actress (Whitney Houston) when she is sent hate mail by an annonymous nutjob - but as a vehicle for the singing diva it does what it sets out to do. Forget the lousy script, the bad acting - surprisingly Houston (it was her movie debut) comes off better than Costner who throughout looks like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Houston has a cocky presence on screen and seems comfortable - no doubt years of appearing in front of the camera via music videos held her in good stead. The film's highlights all involve Houston singing - "I Have Nothing", "Run to You" (both the songs were nominated for an Oscar) and especially the old Dolly Parton standard, "I Will Always Love You", which she made her own by singing it as a torchy ballad using her soaring voice to create magic. It was a moment not unlike Judy Garland singing "Born in a Trunk" in "A Star is Born" and Barbra Streisand singing "My Man" in "Funny Girl" & "Evergreen" in her own version of 'A Star is Born" - all dramatic songs sung after emotional moments during the story. The film's thriller premise concludes during the Academy Awards (the singer is nominated in the best actress category) with a lot of action and a surprise revelation about the stalker. Lousy but a guilty-pleasure movie that was a surprise hit.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:44 am
by Reza
Maatr / The Mother (Ashtar Sayed, 2017) 1/10

All hail to the comeback of Raveena Tandon back on the big screen in a lead role after many years. Unfortunately it's in a film so out of touch with reality harking back to the female vigilante flicks of the 1980s. The screenplay uses the plot device of rape - already a subject dealt with ad nauseum by Bollywood - to absurdly create the holy figure of "Mom" transform into a seethingly deadly "Naagin". A school teacher (Raveena Tandon) and her daughter are gang raped by the corrupt Chief Minister's son and pals. The mother survives but the daughter dies. When she gets no justice from the police she decides to take the matter into her own hands by turning into the female version of Charles Bronson from the "Death Wish" series. All this would still be palatable despite the obvious holes in the script and every character acting like a buffoon - her husband shows no remourse about his child's death and is more concerned how it effects him as he goes on to dump his wife, all the cops are an insensitive bunch, the rapists are sleazy while the mother literally transforms herself overnight into a killing machine - every murder conveniently goes off without a hitch and even the ones where there is clear proof the cops don't arrest her. Tandon strides through it all, swishing her long hair while brandishing a wrench and a gun as she faces off each goon with deadpan relish. She still looks very good like the old "mast, mast cheez" of years gone by. Pity she had to choose this crappy film for her comeback.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:43 am
by Reza
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018) 9/10

Spectacular film in the Marvel movie universe which, I think, works because the story, although has the usual modern technology as in all the other super hero films, here has an old fashioned historical context to it. The film is like one of the old Hollywood period epics set in another era in history. It's Africa and the kingdom of Wakanda which remains hidden from the world and who have developed themselves into a highly modern civilization thanks to the metal vibranium which gives them power. When the old King dies his son, T'Challa with his masked alter ego - Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) - comes to the throne. The screenplay is a mix of old style adventure, tribal intrigue and James Bond- style spycraft with a strong message of dealing with the consequences of ages-old colonialism and exploring isolationism at a time when actual countries are building borders rather than breaking them down. The witty screenplay makes sharp digs at the "white man" and how they have treated the black man over the centuries. The most unusual part of this film is it's amazing cast. Almost every major part is played by a black actor and each gets a mini arc in the story with each creating vivid characters - Lupita Nyong'o as a spy and the hero's ex-lover, Michael B. Jordan as a mercenary and rival for the throne (the film's chief villain), Angela Bassett as the resplendent Queen Mother, Daniel Kaluuya as the King's second in command, Forest Whittaker as a loyal warrior, Sterling K. Brown as a mysterious figure from the King's past, Winston Duke as a rival warrior and Letitia Wright as the King's loving but sharp tongued sister who plays "Q" to his "Bond" during an amusing sequence. The film also makes room for Andy Serkis as an assassin and Martin Freeman as a CIA agent who comes to the King's rescue. As the story deals with Black culture set deep in Africa it allows the film to create stunning sets and exotic costumes along with spectacular CGI effects involving flying space ships and rampaging iron rhinoceroses during the epic battle scenes on the African plains. This is a wonderful addition to the already over glut in the super hero universe and I look forward to further adventures of the Black Panther.

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

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:43 am
by Reza
Nijinsky (Herbert Ross, 1980) 8/10

Highly theatrical and rarely revived film about Vaslav Nijinsky (George de la Pena) considered to be the greatest male ballet dancer of the early twentieth century and a member of the Imperial Ballet. He grew up in Imperial Russia but considered himself to be a Polish peasant. He later joined the Ballets Russes which was started by Sergei Diaghilev (Alan Bates), an impresario who took the ballet to Paris and presented often outrageous theatrical events never before seen. Nijinsky not only became the star performer but also the muse and lover of Diaghilev. With Ross as director and his wife Norma Kaye as producer the film is a feast of dance - the couple were both ballet dancers themselves. Breathtaking ballet sequences are performed which Nijinsky danced and later choreographed - which proved very controversial in Paris with music by Igor Stravinski (Ronald Pickup), choreographed by Mikhail Fokine (Jeremy Irons) under the vision of financier Baron de Guzman (Alan Badel) a patron of dance. Several ballets are recreated on screen with the most electric moments when George De La Pena dances the faun in “L’Apres Midi D’un Faune” which ends with the dancer feigning masturbation causing a huge scandal along with the first night premiere of Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring” which was booed by the audience. His famous descent into madness is not shown but events leading upto it are with Nijinski resenting the possessive control Diaghilev has over him which he breaks by marrying the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky (Leslie Browne) who connivingly comes between the two lovers. Superbly produced film is held together by a memorably imposing performance by Alan Bates as the repressed mentor who holds his protegée with an iron hand.