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 Aug 18, 2018 7:35 am

Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018) 4/10

Slick but formulaic remake of the Charles Bronson film - it was a potboiler then and in some circles, 44 years later, is considered to be a "classic" spawning various sequels for the star. Bruce Willis inherits the part, here a surgeon, who finds his life suddenly change when his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Camila Morone) are viciously attacked by three thugs during a robbery at their home. As time goes by and the police have no leads the doctor decides to take the law into his own hands and turns vigilante (the media terms the mysterious killer "the grim reaper") as he goes into tough Chicago neighborhoods wearing a hoodie and shooting down petty criminals. Willis, stuck in a seriously dramatic role, is bereft of his patented quips and smirks and looks most uncomfortable throughout. The shootings are no longer "crowd pleasing" moments - far too many real-life tragic shootings around the world make the plot very queasy and reeks of exploitation. Lovely Shue is a breath of fresh air in her brief moments on screen as is Vincent D'Onofrio as the doctor's concerned brother. Skip this film unless you are a fan of Willis.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:35 am

The Secret Heart (Robert Z. Leonard, 1946) 6/10

Glossy MGM melodrama - sensitive young girl (June Allyson) grows up idol worshiping her dead father (Robert Sterling) and resenting her stepmother (Claudette Colbert). Matters come to a head when she falls in love with her late father's friend (Walter Pidgeon) who is courting her mother. Overwrought emotions get a spin here and acted out to perfection by a wonderful cast in the studio's typical artificial manner. Colbert's charming lead performance holds it all together.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:34 am

Pearl of the South Pacific (Alan Dwan, 1955) 5/10

Colorful South Seas hokum with three crooks looking for black pearls on an uncharted island. Two beachcombers (Dennis Morgan & David Faraar) hook up with a woman (Virginia Mayo), try to con the innocent natives on an island and try to steal their pearls. It all goes predictably wrong for the trio. Sultry Mayo and the spectacular Hawaiian locations are highlights in what is basically pure corn.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:34 am

The Desert Song (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1953) 6/10

Sigmund Romberg operetta has shades of both "Zorro" and "Superman" with a nerdy archeologist (Gordon MacRae wearing a set of Clark Kent specs) in Africa who moonlights as the mysterious El Khobar (wearing flowing Arab robes) helping the local tribesmen against the evil Sheik (Raymond Massey) who pretends to be the ally of the French Foreign Legion. The General's flighty daughter (Kathryn Grayson) falls for the charms (and songs) of the dashing Khobar. Silly but fun film has the great voices of Grayson and MacRae and enough desert action scenes to keep it all moving at a swift pace. Sexy Allyn Ann McLerie plays the exotic "Azurie" and her harem dance number is straight out of a Bollywood film. Striking colour photography by Robert Burks and a rousing Max Steiner score are highlights in between the action and songs. Pure hokum.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:33 am

Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2018) 6/10

If you cross "The Towering Inferno" with "Die Hard" you get this film - tall building, fire, terrorists. Saving the day is an ex-FBI officer (mighty Dwayne Johnson), now minus a leg after a disastrous rescue operation, who has to enter the burning building teeming with deadly terrorists to rescue his trapped wife (Neve Campbell) and kids. Done-to-death plot gets yet another once-over and the formula manages to drum up enough suspense and excitement to make this solid summer fare. Johnson is kick-ass fun performing outlandish stunts as he battles the deadly goons and the raging fire. The ending is lifted off fromthe mirror sequence in "The Lady From Shanghai". Avoid the film if you suffer from acrophobia.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:32 am

Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis, 2018) 5/10

As a film with Jesus Christ as one of the main characters it lacks the spirituality of Pasolini's film, the "passion" of Mel Gibson's vision and dispenses with the "temptation" depicted by Scorsese in his version by way of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel. However, this is a film where we see the Messiah through the eyes of the ultimate groupie, Mary Magdalene (Rooney Mara), slandered in early Church texts as a prostitute but here depicted as a fiercely independent woman much to the wrath of the patriarchal society. This is the politically correct version of Mary. She becomes one of the earliest and most ardent followers (the 13th apostle?) of Jesus Christ (Joaquin Phoenix) who here comes off as a mashup between a bedraggled rock star and ominous cult leader. The screenplay listlessly goes through the oft told (and recognised) events in Christ's life - cures a blind man, raises Lazarus from the dead, the last supper, betrayed by Judas (Tahar Rahim), the kiss, the crucifixion followed by his resurrection and sighting by Mary. One is used to seeing versions of this story with a highly emotional arc bordering on melodrama but here we have every emotion in check with a poker-faced Rooney acting like the proverbial sheep following her "master". Phoenix (and everyone in the cast for that matter and in particular Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter) is ethnically wrong as Christ - boxoffice demands Hollywood stars, most of whom unfortunately come with blue eyes - but the actor manages a semblance of the man. Director Davis, coming off the emotionally charged "Lion", goes the opposite route here. His interpretation of the story is elegant and serene with outstanding production values - the authentic costumes, cinematography and a lovely score. Pity the film is such a bore.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:31 am

Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard, 1990) 4/10

Godard is an acquired taste. Not for everyone. I like most of his films made before 1966 but find many of the later overated, dull, difficult or pretentious. I can't fault the images in his films though which are almost always superbly shot - maybe I need to turn off the sound and just concentrate on the images. Here is another difficult film which took me a while to understand. Almost the entire dialogue consists of quotations from literature or films. Even the actors posturing in front of the camera seems to have been lifted off other films. Or maybe I imagined this. The plot revolves around a drifter (Alain Delon) who is picked up by a rich industrialist (Domiziana Giordano) and becomes her kept man at her lavish estate near Lake Geneva. He dotes on her and is obedient. Other characters pop up followed by a boating incident where he drowns and she refuses to help. Then another man arrives who looks like the first (also Delon) but is shrewd and aggressive. Then there is a second boating incident with roles reversed. The film is gorgeously photographed with lush views of the spectacular Swiss countryside. It is the first film I've seen where Alain Delon looks human - bags under his eyes, sagging neck jowls, frown marks on his forehead and pimples on his chin. The film is a beautiful looking bore.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:31 am

La kermesse héroïque / Carnival in Flanders (Jacques Feyder, 1935) 10/10

Hilariously sly sex farce is a fairly risqué film for its time and a sharp commentary on human nature. In the early 17th century the Spaniards invade the Flemish town of Flanders. While the town's men all scatter with fright its the women who confront the invaders ready to even give themselves to the soldiers. The town's mayor pretends he is dead while his wily and enterprising wife (the superb Françoise Rosay - director Feyder's wife) gathers together the town's females, dress up in their best outfits and greet the invaders as heroes and shower them with affection, food, sexual favors and hospitality. The result is the invaders leave and also cancel all taxes for a year. Feyder's film is like a painting by the Dutch masters with superb production design and costumes (they bring to mind the renaissance paintings of Pieter Bruegel) and its visual quality is due to the stunning camera work by Harry Stradling who was unique in having not only a celebrated career in Hollywood but also in France where he collaborated with Feyder to equal acclaim. The wicked screenplay gleefully deals with not only adultery, homosexuality and eroticism but also deceit, cowardice and greed. The film proved controversial when during WWII Feyder was accused of endorsing collaboration through this film - the invading Spaniards here substituting for the German invaders during the War. A classic of french cinema and a must-see.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:31 am

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed, 2018) 7/10

Silly, convoluted but fast paced action-comedy has Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) team up with the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her father (Michael Douglas) to go into the "Quantum Realm" - one ignores wondering what the hell it is and just goes along for the ride into what looks like the inside of the human body â la "Fantastic Voyage", the movie from way back when. They need to go inside it to look for the Wasp's mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) who got stuck there 30 years before. Mercifully the screenplay does not delve into complicated jargon explaining all the sci-fi mumbo jumbo. Instead we get snappy one-liners between every character on screen - they all seem to have done time with Neil Simon - making this one of the funnier Marvel outings. Black Hollywood is represented by Lawrence Fishburne as an ex-partner of Douglas but now gone rogue with his protegé who, in ghost-like visage, is the main villain and who annoyingly keeps interrupting the main plot. Rudd is a wonderfully goofy presence with Lilly a sexy verbal and romantic combatant for him. The film has spectacular effects with Ant-Man increasing and decreasing in size at the most awkward of moments causing hilarious mayhem. A fun-filled ride.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:30 am

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Stefano Sollima, 2018) 8/10

Slick equally violent sequel dispenses with three elements from the original - director Denis Villeneuve, star Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer and cinematographer Roger Deakins - but retains the element of suspense along with two important cast members. The US government brings in FBI agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) after it is established that the Mexican drug cartels are smuggling terrorists across the border into the United States. He, in turn, calls upon Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) to help start a war amongst the cartels. Highly charged action thriller involves the kidnapping of a cartel leader's teenage daughter, the initiation of young boys into the cartel, numerous double crosses leading to violent death and a gripping sense of dread throughout. Despite a few slow spots gruff Brolin and cool and silent Del Toro carry it all off with aplomb giving us a sequel well worth waiting for.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:30 am

Wings for the Eagle (Lloyd Bacon, 1942) 6/10

One (of many) films for the War effort - this one is set in a Lockheed plant in California that builds the A-29 Hudson light bomber and reconnaisannce plane which were being sent to the RAF before the United States entered the War. The main plot centers around a love triangle as snappy Ann Sheridan fends off her estranged husband (Jack Carson) and his wolf-like best buddy (Dennis Morgan). With these two actors on board it appears the two have something going on with Ann Sheridan as their beard. She comes off best amongst the incessant flag waving and usual clichés. Interesting from the historical perspective with a close view of how planes were manufactured on the asembly line at a time fraught with urgency.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am

Lancer Spy (Gregory Ratoff, 1937) 6/10

Boys own adventure has a British officer (George Sanders) impersonating a captured Prussian soldier in order to get secret papers for King and Country during WWI. The basic premise is lifted straight from "The Prisoner of Zenda" with Sanders great fun playing a double role - speaking in a german accent, fooling the high ups in the army (Sig Ruman and a strangely subdued Peter Lorre) and romancing a Mata Hari type spy (Dolores Del Rio). Fluff with suspense.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am

Woman in a Dressing Gown (J. Lee Thompson, 1957) 8/10

A precursor to the "kitchen sink" dramas of British cinema may actually have been the first. A long standing middle class marriage is in a crisis. A clerk (Anthony Quayle), stuck in life and job, finds his slovenly and constantly chattering wife (Yvonne Mitchell) a bore and begins an affair with his much younger secretary (Sylvia Syms). The story lacks an "angry man" - Quayle is meek and gentle - and is rare in the genre for having an "angry woman" at the center who is roused into a fury and snaps out of her self infused malaise - there is a wonderfully written scene between the two actresses, one who knows what real love is and the other who has a more romantic notion of the word. This quietly riveting film is a fine portrait of ordinary people going through life. Mitchel playing a cringe worthy character is superb. Suffering from a form of clinical depression she has let herself go (lives in a dressing gown) and keeps the house in a mess - Thompson (by way of cinematographer Gilbert Taylor) frames her throughout in between furniture and doorways showing her pathetic caged character. The situations appear jarring from a modern perspective with its 1950s mores and clearly defined roles for men and women but much of it is still relevant and familiar to many parts of the world. Mitchell won the best actress prize at the Berlin film festival and is remarkable in creating a character living constantly on the edge of hysteria.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:29 am

Un nommé La Rocca / A Man Named Rocca (Jean Becker, 1961) 4/10

Deathly slow film has Belmondo trying to look for the people who put his friend in jail. Brilliantly photographed on location in stark black and white by Ghislain Cloquet (who would win an Oscar years later for "Tess"). The film picks up pace during the second half set inside a jail and on a beach. Pretty Christine Kaufmann reclines nude in bed throughout. Belmondo is always a welcome presence with his rough hewn features and star persona.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:28 am

Volver a empezar / Begin the Beguine / To Begin Again (José Luis Garci, 1982) 5/10

Warm bittersweet memory piece is a bore and still managed to win the Oscar for best foreign film (Spain's first). An old man (Antonio Ferrandis) returns to his old hometown Gijon after going into exile during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. He has lived all these years in the United States and has recently won the Nobel prize in Literature. The film is a series (of very slow) vignettes as he connects with an old flame and an old buddy. He is harboring a secret which he tells his friend but does not mention to the lady. Unfortunately the film's poignant scenes are intercut with silly comic scenes involving the hotel manager who is over excited once he realises the old man is a celebrity. The film is bathed in a romantic aura due to the soundtrack - both Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major" and Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" are played ad nauseam throughout. Sentimental fluff.


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