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 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:16 pm

Journey For Margaret (W.S. Van Dyke, 1942) 6/10

WWII propaganda about an important subject - the rehabilitation of refugee children and orphans during the war. During the Blitz a reporter (Robert Young) and his wife (Larraine Day) face tragedy during a bombing when she loses her unborn baby and the doctors tell him she cannot have any more children. While his wife recuperates back in America he stays back and is assigned to write about a home for rescued children run by an elderly lady (Fay Bainter). Soon he comes into contact with two young unrelated kids, a precocious girl (Margaret O'Brien in her film debut) and a boy (William Severn), with whom he becomes attached. The film follows the red tape involved with adoption and travel out of war torn England for safer shores. The child actors are both very good, Young is solid and despite the preachy and overly patriotic nature of the screenplay the film scores and makes its rallying point by calling out to America into finally entering the War alongside the Allied Forces. Van Dyke's final film who, suffering from cancer, committed suicide not long after the film's release.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:16 pm

Padmaavat (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2018) 8/10

Bhansali is probably the only filmmaker out there who creates huge spectacles for the big screen that recall old Hollywood epics. Old fashioned cinema created purely for entertainment was what once cinema stood for and which is on view in this historical-fiction. Based on an epic poem written 200 years after the events of this tale the title character of Padmavati, who has taken on a sacred place in Hindu culture, is pure fiction. The film was mired in controversy during production with the director attacked by a fanatic Rajput caste organization and its sets vandalised followed by attacks on school buses and threats of attacking cinemas in India if the film was shown. It is obvious those stupid people never saw the film because it glorifies everything in Rajput culture and history. In fact if anybody should be protesting it is the Muslims who have been portrayed here as barbaric, blood thirsty and sexually depraved - which they probably were :) but then so were the ancient Hindus, the Turks, the Chinese, the Shoguns and the European rulers. Those were barbaric times everywhere and the rule of the game was conquest, murder, looting and rape with the victor getting the spoils and the throne. In 13th century Afghanistan Jalaluddin Khilji (Raza Murad) plots to take the throne of India. His ambitious nephew and son-in-law, Alauddin (Ranveer Singh), eventually kills him and takes over the throne. A lover of all things beautiful he hears about the beautiful Rani of Chittor, Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), married to the honourable Rajput ruler, Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), and lays siege to the fort of Chittor in order to capture her for himself. His "love", which comes off more as savage lust, remains unrequited as she is in love with her husband. Both uphold their Rajput values - Rattan Singh plays it honourable and dies on the battlefield like a true warrior while his wife, along with all the women in the fort, commits "Jauhar" - mass self-immolation to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by Khilji's army when they face defeat during the battle. The production, shot in spectacular fashion with huge sets, epic battle scenes, sumptuous costumes and jewelery, is truly a feast for the eyes. Surprisingly the character of Padmavati remains rather lifeless with Deepika Padukone looking like a model strutting the catwalk although she is effective as the beautiful object of desire in her love scenes opposite a stiff Shahid Kapoor as her brave husband. The film is stolen by Ranveer Singh as the flamboyant and savage Muslim Emperor. It's a dream role for an actor and Bhansali has allowed Singh to play to the gallery which he gleefully does. It's an incredibly wicked and very funny take on the role which the actor manages to imbue with a sense of danger using makeup, costumes and wild mannerisms. The screenplay hints at the Emperor's bisexuality with his eunuch slave, Malik Kafur (Jim Sarbh) - the actors get to enact a bathing scene in a tub with the slave washing his feet which is a scene straight out of "Spartacus" where Tony Curtis washes the body of Laurence Olivier. Historically there is no real proof of the Muslim Emperor's bisexuality and the only reason he was shown to be barbaric was to have a villain in the film opposite a suave and sophisticated Rattan Singh who dies heroically on the battlefield when in reality he surrendered and his life was spared by Khilji. The Khilji's, who took their cue from the Turks, were culturally very sophisticated in their manner and behaviour so artistic licence has been freely taken by Bhansali in this tale of fiction. As history the film is false but as entertainment it comes up aces.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Central Intelligence (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2016) 7/10

Surprisingly funny action-comedy with a lot of heart. A mild-mannered accountant (Kevin Hart) receives a Facebook friendship request out of the blue from an old high school classmate who used to be the fat nerd constantly ragged by everyone. When they meet he is surprised to discover that the man (Dwayne Johnson) is a foot taller than him and in perfect shape like a huge bodybuilder. Then the CIA comes knocking at his door claiming the muscle man is a rogue agent and a killer. As with all mismatched-buddy films the two go on the run as cartoonish mayhem follows them - killers shooting at them with crashing cars as the two banter along the way. Hart does his fast talkin' comedy shtick but it's Dwayne Johnson who shows real comic timing as the goofy tough guy who still hasn't gotten over his teenage traumas and despite being an agile killer has a deeply sensitive soul. It's all terribly silly yet very endearing at the same time thanks to the great chemistry between the two actors. Great fun.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:15 pm

Goodbye Christopher Robin (Simon Curtis, 2017) 6/10

Stunningly produced film - with scenes shot in the countryside of Sussex that resemble paintings - tells the story of writer A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his difficult relationship with his young son, Christopher Robin, and his uninterested (and bitchy) wife (Margot Robbie). Returning from WWI and suffering severely from PTSD, the writer moves his displeased wife, son and the child's nanny (Kelly Macdonald) to the countryside. While his wife is away in London and the nanny on leave, he is forced to spend time with his son as both take long walks in the woods (accompanied by the sweeping score by Carter Burwell) talking about wild animals. From these walks and his son's stuffed toys the writer is inspired to create the character of Winnie-the-Pooh while his son is the inspiration for the character of Christopher Robin in a series of popular books of poetry which become a raging success. The son grows up neglected and bitter resenting the stories for which he was the inspiration and refuses all loyalties from the sale of the books after he is paraded by his father in front of fawning fans of the books. The screenplay fails to balance the story's whimsical passages with the gloomy and downbeat portions of the story about child neglect, the horrors of the battlefield and the insufferable behaviour of the mother - Robbie has the unenviable task of playing a character who is quite despicable to her lonely child and who then has to reverse it all by displaying sudden compassion during a critical moment in the young man's life. Macdonald, as the nanny, is a breath of fresh air compared to a stiff Gleeson and cold-as-ice Robbie. The seesaw events depicted, often in a convoluted way, makes the story confusing when the screenplay should have concentrated more on the whimsical aspect of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Toys in the Attic (George Roy Hill, 1963) 5/10

Trashy Southern family melodrama based on Lillian Hellman's overheated play with characters seemingly wandered in from a Tennessee Williams story. Two middle-aged spinsters have spent their lives indulging the whims of their spoilt ne'er-do-well brother whose big dreams always end in disaster. Matters come to a head when the brother (Dean Martin) arrives for a visit to the family house with a young nubile, emotionally unstable child-like bride (Yvette Mimieux). Rattling skeletons in the closet threaten to jump out as everyone is nursing heated emotions. The man has a roving eye and with a former lover has made money in a real estate deal. His wife suspects her husband was paid a huge sum of money by her rich mother (Gene Tierney) in order to be rid of her. The mother has been having an affair with her black chauffeur. One sister (Wendy Hiller) is like a mother figure to her brother while the other sister (Geraldine Page) nurses incestuous feelings for him leading to an act of jealousy that proves disastrous for the brother at the hand of thugs. A far fetched plot, too many highly charged emotions and Page chewing the scenery makes the plot almost descend into grand guignol territory. Hollywood censorship toned down the miscegenation and incest but it still comes off lurid, hysterical and shrill. The cast is game with Dean and Hiller both very good. Page is an acquired taste and her grating voice and tics quickly become ludicrous. Lackluster film that should be remade.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Waiting (Anu Menon, 2015) 8/10

Two strangers meet in a hospital waiting room. She (Kalki Koechlin) is a young woman whose husband is in a coma after attaining severe head injuries in a road accident. He (Naseeruddin Shah) is an old man whose wife has been in a coma for the last eight months after suffering a stroke. They end up forming a close bond. He helps her cope with her grief while she reminds him of a daughter he and his wife never had. Superb two hander is gripping, emotional, sad and eventually uplifting as both individuals wade across their generational gap and find comfort in each other as they fight their own insecurities allowing themselves to cherish life while facing death.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 pm

A Blueprint For Murder (Andrew L. Stone, 1953) 6/10

Suspense drama of a man (Joseph Cotten) who suspects his sister-in-law (Jean Peters) of poisoning her husband and step-daughter. To save his nephew he follows her on a ship to Europe hoping to catch her try to murder the young boy. Peters is very good as the cool woman who may or may not be a murderer. She perfectly compliments the low-key performance of Cotten and both elevate this little B-movie.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:13 pm

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (Delmer Daves, 1965) 4/10

English mother (Maureen O'Hara) dumps her husband (Richard Todd) and two teenage kids and runs off with an Italian composer (Rossano Brazzi). The unhappy kids turn up in Italy and along with the composer's daughter (Olivia Hussey) plan to break up the two middle-aged lovers. Corny film, based on a novel by Rumer Godden, is part travelogue (lovely shots of Lake Garda) but mostly sappy scenes as they all sit around discussing the situation ad nauseum with a ridiculously melodramatic ending. The three child stars come off more mature than both O'Hara and Brazzi who look silly playing "desperately in love".

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:13 pm

Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray, 1957) 8/10

Fascinating, stylish psychological WWII drama set during the Libyan campaign. A love triangle between a Major (Curt Jürgens), his wife (Ruth Roman) and her former lover, a Captain (Richard Burton), causes tension, jealousy and malignant regret between the two men on a dangerous commando raid. The Major is sent with a team of soldiers on a secret assignment to Benghazi to retreive documents from Rommel's German Headquarters. An act of cowardice on part of the Major becomes a bone of contention for him as he loses face infront of the Captain and his team. The return journey through the Sahara desert proves treacherous for a number of the soldiers with hard-hitting consequences for both the officers. Burton is excellent as the cheeky officer hiding an anguished veneer under the surface. Starkly shot film on harsh locations has many exciting action sequences with Ray making strong points on masculinity and cowardice .

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:12 pm

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought the White House Down (Peter Landesman, 2017) 4/10

Slow and dull biopic of Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) who, as the incognito "Deep Throat", exposed Nixon during the Watergate scandal by secretly informing Woodword and Bernstein, reporters at the Washington Post. A longtime aide to J. Edgar Hoover, he is passed over by President Nixon for the post of the head of the FBI after Hoover's death. Shortly thereafter he investigates a minor break-in at the Watergate hotel and uncovers the scandal which eventualy leads to Nixon's resignation. Neeson gives a stiff performance as the man of integrity who blows the whistle, a fact that only came to light years later. The screenplay also details his relationship with his unhappy alcoholic wife (Diane Lane) and daughter who runs off to a commune. Bearable film as a history lesson. Stick instead to the riveting "All the President's Men" which tells the same story from the perspective of the reporters who got all the inside information.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:12 pm

Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, 2017) 7/10

Rousing theatrical film that goes a slightly different route than the number of previous films about Churchill. Set during the same time frame as the recent "Churchill's Secret" - Britain in May 1940 - this film concentrates on Churchill, the remarkable orator, as his words move and inspire his countrymen into action while he is opposed on all fronts by the people in power. The King (Ben Mendelsohn) invites Churchill (Gary Oldman under mounds of makeup and padding) to be the new Prime Minister even though his first choice is Lord Hallifax (Stephen Dillane), a personal friend who was in favour of appeasement with Germany, a notion the Royal family also believed in wholeheartedly. Called a war monger by the opposition, Churchill is at odds with just about everyone around him. The power of words literally help him out of his despair and confusion (the catalyst being the "common man" whom he interacts with during a memorable scene set on an undergound train). And Oldman rises to the occasion during the film's many scenes where he is required to not just say his lines but shout them out whether at his secretary (Lily James - playing an amalgamation of various ladies who worked for the P.M. and who takes on the role of his conscience), his exasperated wife Clementine (Kristin Scott Thomas), in front of his War Cabinet or on the floor of the Parliament. The actor gets tremendous help by the constantly moving camera of Bruno Delbonnel which creates a sense of urgency bathing most of the scenes shot in dark parliamentary rooms and underground bunkers with streaks of blinding sunlight. Accompanying the dialogue and creating the appropriate mood is the superb score by Dario Marinelli especially during the film's highlight when the Prime Minister makes his famous speech ("We shall fight on the beaches...."). The film also seems to have struck a chord with the current hot topic plaguing Hollywood and has the strong message of standing up to any "bully" who uses force. Hitler or Weinstein - stand up to them and call and wipe them out. Nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor - Gary Oldman who is the frontrunner to win.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:12 pm

Stronger (David Gordon Green, 2017) 6/10

True inspirational story about Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal who is superb) who was injured during the 2013 Boston marathon bombing and both his legs had to be amputated. This is tv-movie territory which the director transforms by taking an intimate view of the character using his camera in inventive ways to put the emphasis on the protagonist. The film covers his rehabilitation, relationship with his on-again/off-again girlfriend (Tatiana Maslany also very good), his loving and boistrous Boston family including his hard drinking mother (a ravaged Miranda Richardson). Warm and humane the film succeeds via it's trio of exceptional performances.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:11 pm

Toilet - Ek Prem Katha (Shree Narayan Singh, 2017) 7/10

A bride (Bhumi Pendekar) moves out of her husband's (Akshay Kumar) house when she discovers there is no toilet. The screenplay humorously touches on a social problem - most houses in villages in India have no toilets and men and women go to the fields to relieve themselves. For the women it becomes a means of socializing as they go in groups and squat in the fields during the early hours of the morning away from prying male eyes. Since the bride is feisty and college educated she rebels against this old age custom insisting that a toilet be built against strong opposition from her religious father-in-law, husband and the villagers who feel their culture is being upturned. Kumar, who was nominated for a Filmfare award, and Pednekar are both terrific - cute and lovable during the romantic scenes and heartbreaking during the phase when they part during the predicament.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:11 pm

Trapped (Vikramaditya Motwane, 2017) 6/10

A hapless young man (Rajkummar Rao) gets trapped in a 35th floor apartment in an abandoned building without any food, water or electricity. His harrowing ordeal shows man's indomitable spirit as he tries everything to escape his prison. Rao spends the entire film alone (except for a few scenes at the start with his girlfriend) as the camera focuses on him through his every desperate attempt to find a way to get out of his plight. The actor was rewarded with a Filmfare award.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:10 pm

Night Into Morning (Fletcher Markle, 1951) 7/10

Understated but heartfelt drama about coping after tragedy. A Berkeley professor (Ray Milland) loses his wife (Rosemary DeCamp) and son in an accident and gradually takes to alcohol in order to cope with day-to-day living. Milland won an Oscar six years before for his harrowing performance as an alcoholic in "The Last Weekend" but here his performance is very subtle. He is a man very much in control of his life even right after the tragedy as he goes about his daily interactions with sympathetic colleagues (John Hodiak & Nancy Davis), the Dean (Lewis Stone), a lonely neighbor (Jean Hagen) and a student (Dawn Addams). They all see through his valiant attempts to ignore the tragedy as he starts using alcohol as his crutch to deal with his depression. Well acted film, an intelligent screenplay and good atmospheric shots of the small-town University - filmed at Berkeley.


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