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

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

Postby Reza » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:23 pm

Ballad of a Soldier (Grigoriy Chukhray, 1959) 9/10

Lyrical, highly emotional film with a strong anti-war message. A teenage Russian soldier manages to single handedly destroy two Nazi tanks and is recommended for a medal by his commanding officer. The boy instead requests leave to go see his mother so he can fix the leaking roof of their house. The boy's journey back home becomes a series of vignettes as he is waylaid by people along the way who need his help. Along the way there is also a brief romance and he discovers there is equal chaos away from the battlefield as he watches ordinary people struggling to survive during the war. Chukhray uses wide shots to capture the vastness of the locations - the opening scene on the battlefield as the young soldier is chased across a barren field by a tank - and at the opposite spectrum captures small intimate moments via extreme closeup shots of the soldier with his girlfriend and mother. Despite knowing the outcome about the young soldier the devastating last sequence is played out with quiet grace between the innocent man and his optimistic mother. Hauntingly sad story is also strangely very uplifting. A must-see.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:37 am

On ne meurt que deux fois / He Died with His Eyes Open (Jacques Deray, 1985) 9/10

This is not quite Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" but it ranks right up there with some of the best detective murder mysteries on film. The plot, based on the novel by Robin Cook, has a number of similarities to Polanski's classic film. A bludgeoned corpse turns up and a jaded but witty cop (Michel Serrault) investigates the case. The murdered man's widow and stepson are hardly perturbed about his death. It appears the man was having an affair and tapes found at his apartment implicate a thug (Xavier Duluc) who had beaten him up at a bar. The cop matches wits with the dead man's enigmatic mistress who proceeds to seduce him. A slinky Charlotte Rampling gives a sexually charged performance as the mysterious femme fatale who jumps in and out of bed with any man who catches her fancy. All the scenes between Serrault and Rampling are superbly played and both actors are at the top of their game. The convoluted plot, with hints of incest, plays out in bedrooms, in the shower and in bars with Rampling absolutely ravishing with and (mostly) without her clothes. Serrault, Rampling and Duluc were all nominated for César awards. A must-see.

Agatha and the Truth of Murder (Terry Loane, 2018) 7/10

During the 1920s Agatha Christie, suffering great emotional distress over her failed marriage, disappeared for 11 days. When she was finally found she claimed no memory of how she came to be staying at a hotel in Harrowgate. This film purposes to solve that mystery by having Christie (Ruth Bradley) approached by an old woman to help solve the mysterious murder of her companion on a train some years before. The set up is straight out of one of Christie's own books with herself playing the role of a detective on the lines of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. She gathers together various members of the murdered woman's family at a secluded mansion and proceeds to find who did it. There is a second murder at the mansion, a number of suspicious suspects amongst the guests, a local police officer on the lines of Inspector Battle and the familiar denouement with Christie trapping the murderer to confess. A welcome addition to the Christie oeuvre, this is an elegantly made film with wonderful period flavour and it does solve the mystery of Christie's disappearance even if its done as a work of fiction. I suspect Christie would have enjoyed the idea of her as a detective solving a murder.

Stree (Amar Kaushik, 2018) 8/10

The fantastic screenplay mixes intense horror sequences along with laugh-out-loud comic moments imbedded within a strong lesson for men about the evils of objectifying women. A small town is cursed with the urban legend of an evil spirit, known as "stree", who arrives every year during the local four day holy festival and preys on men at night making them disappear leaving only their clothes behind. When a young man is whisked away his close buddies, led by the town's romantic tailor (Rajkumar Rao) and the local expert on ghosts (Pankaj Tripathy), attempt to discover what the spirit truly wants. Helping them is a mysterious woman (Shraddha Kapoor) with whom the tailor has fallen head over heels in love. Superbly acted and directed film deftly manages to balance both the horror and comic elements of the screenplay often alternating both genres within the same scene. Most importantly it hits home its strong message of showing respect to women and not treating them as sex objects.

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (Luv Ranjan, 2018) 8/10

Charming and amusing Rom-Com that celebrates bromance. Titu (Sunny Singh Nijjar) is naive and always falls for girls who take advantage of him. His best friend Sonu (Kartik Aaryan) always comes to his rescue trying to knock sense into him. When Titu falls for gold-digger Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha) it becomes a battle of wits as Sonu tries to break up his best friend's upcoming marriage. The screenplay, like the classic "Hum Aapke Hain Kaun", revolves around the preparation of a wedding in a house full of various family members all of whom are hilariously opinionated. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents provide most of the humour with Alok Nath and Virendra Saxena hilarious as two foul mouthed, whiskey swivelling oldies passing wisdom on sex and relationships. A star is born with Kartik Aaryan as the smooth fast-talking Sonu. Not withstanding the misogynist aspect of the screenplay this is a very funny and entertaining film.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi & Kangana Ranaut, 2019) 6/10

Epic historical film on the life of Rani Lakshmibai and her resistance to the British East India Company during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Kangana Ranaut gives a no holds barred performance as the fiery "Rani of Jhansi" who takes on the British Commander and his troops after her husband, the ruler of Jhansi, is poisoned. Expected to go into seclusion as all widows do by tradition, she instead raises an army and goes into battle. The patriotic screenplay goes into overdrive mixing fact and myths about the warrior Queen as she ferociously rouses the people of Jhansi and in particular women to stand up to the invaders who are planning to usurp their land and wealth. CGI designed battle sequences, full of blood and gore, are the order of the day. Ranaut carries the film with her strong and multifaceted performance but the entire focus is on her alone with most of the other characters getting sidelined. There is also too much of the Bollywood touch - slow motion shots with the heroine's hair flying and her saree trailing behind her and billowing in the wind in perfect synchronicity to the film's music. All the British characters are presented as caricatures speaking hindi with a broad ridiculous accent. Overlong film manages to hold interest thanks to the wonderful Ranaut.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:50 pm

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019) Joe Berlinger 7/10
The Wonderful Crook (1975) Claude Goretta 5/10
The Game of Love (1954) Claude Autant-Lara 6/10
The Mule (2018) Clint Eastwood 6/10
Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Josie Rourke 1/10
Portrait of a Fighter as a Young Man (2010) Constantin Popescu 4/10
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018) Gus Van Sant 4/10
Maniac (2018) Cary Joji Fukunaga 2/10
Mr. X (2014) Tessa Louise-Salome 4/10
Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Dan Gilroy 3/10
Jane Fonda in Five Acts (2018) Susan Lacy 7/10

Repeat viewing

Block-Heads (1938) John G. Blystone 7/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:54 pm

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018) 6/10

Raucous comedian Melissa McCarthy takes a dramatic turn with this project and has been rewarded with an Oscar nomination for her performance. Her face stripped clean of all makeup, wearing an outsize and drab wardrobe the actress attempts a serious avatar for the first time. I liked the character she plays and the film's bizarre premise more than the actual performance which seems to silently scream her "serious" actor persona. Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a former somewhat famous author is down and out with no job, has rent to pay and knocks back booze. Her caustic personality does not endear her to anyone. She comes upon the idea of forging celebrity signatures on letters and selling them. Initially she succeeds and the fake letters (supposedly from Nöel Coward, Dorothy Parker, Marlene Dietrich, Edna Ferber and many others) sell but soon she is outed as a forger with the FBI hot on her trail. The film's plus point is her friendship with a gay alcoholic derelict (a droll Richard E. Grant) as the two losers discover companionship in a world of loneliness and creative insecurity. Based on Israel's memoirs the film has a sad undercurrent depicting the life of a woman who stopped believing in herself as anger and frustration takes her on a short whirlwind of crime. McCarthy tries hard to overcome her typecast screen persona but her flat and monotone performance becomes to grate after a bit. Grant, also nominated for an Oscar, has more fun playing a stereotypical character with shades of his famous performance from way back in "Withnail and I" but its all pretty dour and downbeat to make you care.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:33 am

Reza wrote:The Girl in the Spider's Web (Fede Alvarez, 2018) 7/10
A good start to a series that hopefully Foy will continue to make.


The film was a massive box office failure - its worldwide gross didn't even reach its production costs. Apparently, there will be no further films for this wanna be franchise in the foreseeable future.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:50 am

If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018) 7/10

Barry Jenkins' follow-up to the Oscar winning "Moonlight" is a quiet little love story cloaking the devastating repercussions of racial injustice in 1970s Harlem. Based on the acclaimed novel by James Baldwin the story is also a celebration of close family ties and how love and a positive outlook can sometimes overcome mental anguish. Jenkins' shoots the film in a deliberately languid manner with his camera lovingly lingering on the young pair of lovers (Stephen James & KiKi Layne) who soon face two major roadblocks in their relationship. He is incarcerated in prison on a false charge of sexual assault while she discovers she is pregnant. After the initial shock they both look forward towards a positive outcome - agreeing to keep the unborn baby and trying to prove his innocence. Helped by her family, in particular her strong willed understanding mother (Regina King), the young couple keep their hopes up high. The sensitive screenplay provides an intimate look at everyday black life working in comedy, melodrama, despair, anger and hope into a seamless whole. The lovely score by Nicholas Britell, the screenplay and Regina King have been nominated for Oscars.

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Fede Alvarez, 2018) 7/10

Stieg Larsson's iconic character of Lisbeth Salander, from his trilogy of books, gets a reboot by way of the fourth book in the series which was continued by David Lagercrantz. After successful screen incarnations of the character by Noomi Rapace (in all three Swedish screen adaptations) and Oscar nominated Rooney Mara (in the Hollywood remake of the first book) we get here a fierce Claire Foy as the goth-like computer hacker and saviour of abused women. If you are looking for a thriller that comes up with plausible answers to ever plot point then you need to tune out but if you have a mind set which allows you to believe that comic book heroes can fly and climb up walls then sit back and enjoy this film. The premise is enjoyable for its various action set pieces which revolve around a generic done-to-death plot involving a nefarious group trying to steal a nuke app. Moving along at a break-neck pace Salander dodges bullets, assassination attempts and massive explosions while trying to save a key witness. The spectacular winter location-work in Stockholm is a big plus as Foy struts across the screen as the female equivalent of James Bond - a total badass - facing upto a ghost from her past while showing a distinct, if macho, maternal side to her character. A good start to a series that hopefully Foy will continue to make.

Christopher Robin (Marc Forster, 2018) 7/10

Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga and Roo come to the help of adult Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) and teach him a valuable lesson about the importance of family. Stuck in a middle level job and neglecting his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter, he gradually realises that a lack of joy in him has turned him into an unfeeling machine. The magical return of his childhood stuffed toys makes him realise the value of being oneself without fear or worry. A.A. Milne's famous literary characters get a charming uplift in this dazzling little film with seamless visual effects, handsome production design and a sense of childish wonderment.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:38 pm

Glass (2019) M. Night Shyamalan 2/10
From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses (2015) Rüdiger Suchsland 6/10
The Forgiven (2018) Roland Joffe 2/10
Thirst (1949) Ingmar Bergman 4/10
Duck Butter (2018) Miguel Arteta 1/10
Kings (2018) Deniz Gamze Erguven 1/10
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Phil Johnson & Rich Moore 4/10
Memoir of War (2018) Emmanuel Finkel 8/10
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Anthony Russo & Joe Russo 1/10
Green Book (2018) Peter Farrelly 4/10
RBG (2018) Julie Cohen & Betsy West 4/10
Christopher Robin (2018) Marc Forster 2/10
Madeline's Madeline (2018) Josephine Decker 4/10
El Amour Brujo (1967) Francisco Rovira Beleta 4/10
Let the Corpses Tan (2017) Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani 4/10
A Cage of Nightingales (1945) Jean Dreville 5/10

Repeat viewings

Gosford Park (2001) Robert Altman 9/10
The Offical Story (1985) Luis Puenzo 8/10
Zabriskie Point (1970) Michelangelo Antonioni 10/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:06 am

Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018) 10/10

Passionate, tempestuous and haunting love story between two star-crossed and totally incompatable lovers - a music director (Tomasz Kot) and a teenage singer-dancer (Joanna Kulig). Pawlikowski frames their story between the years 1949-1964 moving from rural war-ravaged Poland to East Berlin and Paris and back inside the Iron Curtain. The story's time shifts are punctuated by spectacular musical interludes ranging from Polish folk music and Soviet-era hymns to classical pieces, a smattering of Gershwin to french-inflected jazz and ending with Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock". At its heart is the central sexually charged relationship that goes through various trials - a defection, continuous separations, other relationships, jealousy, hatred, spite - as each reunion involves unbridled passion. Stunningly shot by Lukasz Zal in black and white, the film is a perfect followup to Pawlikowski's "Ida".

Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968) 8/10

Angel or demon, Christ or God? Who is the young man who mysteriously arrives at the house of a rich Milanese factory owner (Massimo Girotti) and proceeds to fuck his daughter, son, wife (Silvana Mangano) and also him? He also has his way with their maid (Laura Betti) thus changing their lives forever. This is a film very much of its time when brave European directors like Pasolini, Godard, Truffaut, Fellini, Antonioni, Chabrol all brought sex into the forefront in cinema. Highly symbolic film is a scathing indictment of the bourgeoisie shown here as sexually repressed who are aroused through sex with the stranger and discover spiritual nirvana. When the stranger suddenly leaves they all fall apart as without him they cannot sustain the level of spirituality which sex with him brought into their lives. The daughter goes into a catatonic state, the son who is a painter is disgusted with his efforts and urinates on his painting, the mother turns into a slut picking up strangers for sex and the father gives away his factory to his workers, strips and runs madly screaming through a barren landscape which resembles the land of Christ. Only the peasant maid, who has strong religious beliefs, finds fulfillment and not only starts performing miracles but also levitates. Pasolini was condemned by the Catholic Church for indecency but later acquitted. Viewed today the film is sexually very tame with all the erotica mostly taking place off-screen. For the role of the angelic-faced stranger Pasolini chose one of the iconic faces of the swinging sixties, Terence Stamp, whose entire performance as the catalyst is almost wordless. Pasolini, a Marxist and a homosexual, uses Stamp as a sex object focusing his camera on his spread legs and crotch and shows various male actors positioned naked on beds like in a painting or showing naked legs and feet. The whole premise is weird with scenes of Mangano running through fields in high heels, fondling a man's trousers and stripping. The tone of the film is seductive, almost poetic, helped along by a wonderful score by Ennio Morricone. Intriguing and thought provoking cinema.

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

Postby Reza » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:43 am

Vice (Adam McKay, 2018) 3/10

The rise and rise of former Vice President Dick Cheney, the power behind the throne of President George W. Bush. Christian Bale, wearing heavy facial prosthetics, does a grotesque caricature of the toad-like and very bland Cheney with Amy Adams as his dumpy Lady Macbeth-like wife Lynne - in one scene of this quirky screen biography the couple speak to each other in Shakespearean sonnets. It's all very hit and miss and since this couple did not hold my interest I found it all rather silly with director McKay channeling "Saturday Night Live" in tone. The film purposes to explain how a two-time Yale dropout and loser makes the jump to being a machiavellian string puller which he manages to wrangle from President Bush while the latter was airborne during the 9/11 attack. As someone says, post 9/11, "we have to fuck someone up" so the United States decided to bomb Iraq. We know the serious repercussions of Cheyney's actions but the screenplay intentionally takes an outrageously comic route like a mock documentary which I personally found jarring. Other stars appear briefly - Sam Rockwell as the buffoonish Bush, Steve Carrel as Donald Rumsfeld and Tyler Perry as Colin Powell. Shallow film about a bunch of shallow and boring people.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:55 pm

3 Generations (2016) Gaby Dellal 3/10
Scarred Hearts (2016) Radu Jude 7/10
Voyage of Time (2016) Terrence Malick 4/10
Mandy (2018) Panos Cosmatos 2/10
Nappily Ever After (2018) Haifaa Al-Massour 4/10
In Between (2016) Maysaloun Hamoud 6/10
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) Matt Tyrnauer 6/10
Nancy (2018) Christina Choe 4/10
Loro (2018) Paolo Sorrentino 5/10
Crisis (1946) Ingmar Bergman 4/10
The Discovery (2017) Charlie McDowell 3/10
Hitler's Hollywood (2017) Rüdiger Suchsland 6/10

Repeat viewings

I Remember Mama (1948) George Stevens 6/10
Wild Boys of the Road (1933) William A. Wellman 9/10
Les Parents Terribles (1948) Jean Cocteau 8/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:26 pm

Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018) 7/10

I kept thinking of Nazi death camps as this film progressed. The humiliation and shame forced on young men and women makes this true story extremely uncomfortable to watch. Gay conversion therapy is apparently a norm in 36 states in the United States. And it's legal and acceptable. And to think the West reacts in horror over fundamental religious nutjobs who brain wash young kids to commit terrorist acts. Yes maybe not an apt comparison but the idea is almost the same - browbeat, shame, humiliate and scare young people using God, religion and the fear of the afterlife to try and brainwash them into doing something which they would not do otherwise. The son (Lucas Hedges) of a Baptist Minister (Russell Crowe) is put in a therapy group run by a tightly wound up "therapist" (Joel Edgerton) after the young boy is outed to his parents even though nothing really happened. The father seeks advice and enrolls the son in a 12-day conversion therapy group. His Mom (Nicole Kidman) goes along with the plan and accompanies her son staying at a nearby hotel while the son attends classes. The "therapy" involves getting the gay participants to blame some family member for their "sexual problem", retrain them by increasing their masculinity via rigorous exercise, humiliation and by shaming them to believe that their urges are learned rather than part of their genetic makeup. Things get out of control when a participant who refuses to bend is beaten (with a Bible) by the therapists and his family members while being relentlessly shamed. Trying to get away from the almost prison-like building the young teenager manages to get his mother to rescue him. Hedges is very good as the teen struggling with his feelings and with his strained relationship with a father who refuses to accept or understand him. Crowe is barely in the film and remains a passive presence providing expressionless reactions to his son and the proceedings but Kidman is strong as a loving mother with her own sense of beliefs who realises the immense wrong she as a parent has done to her son. There is a lovely scene where she apologises to her son. The entire film is presented in a very bland way. Even most of the dramatic moments are filmed in a straight forward but static manner which makes the horror of it all seem very real and traumatic but it is also very obvious that the screenplay is catering towards a wider straight audience to gently "educate" them into maybe understanding what goes through the minds of people who are trying to discover themselves or come out with their sexuality. Thought provoking film raises many questions with the main one trying to fathom how such conversion centers are even allowed to operate in the United States. Scary!!

Mulk (Anubhav Sinha, 2018) 5/10

Overwrought hysterical courtroom drama has good intentions in proving that not all Muslims are terrorists but while doing so it tends to get too preachy. Also the prosecuting attorney (Ashutosh Rana) and the cop (Rajat Kapoor) seem to be operating out of a 1980s Bollywood flick with villainy written all over their faces. A Muslim family living in Benaras is shocked to discover that their young son (Prateik Babbar) has blown up a bus and killed many people. Caught on camera he is exposed, trapped and killed by the police. The wrath of the law and the Hindu community falls on the terrorist's Muslim family as they are beseiged by the media, taunted by their old friends in the neighborhood and the boy's old father is put in jail under suspicion of also being involved. The family patriarch (Rishi Kapoor), a respected lawyer, comes to the defence of his brother in court but finds himself also suspected by the court of helping his nephew. Their young daughter-in-law (Tapsee Pannu), a Hindu and (conveniently) a lawyer, comes to the rescue in court making a passionate speech on behalf of Muslims. All rather unconvincing and melodramatic though the main message is a plea for communal harmony in India, a subject which in reality has been rather thorny through the ages. Tapsee Pannu is totally out of her depth as the young lawyer making grand gestures and fiery speeches in court. She is too young to be convincing. The film's heart and soul belongs to Rishi Kapoor. A huge romantic star in Bollywood for almost 25 years has suddenly become one of the best character actors, one who still manages to get important lead roles and is not afraid to experiment in offbeat roles with new younger directors. He is superb here as the open-minded Muslim, steadfast in his religious beliefs, a much respected neighbour, good family man and a wise lawyer who is forced to prove his nationalism because of his religion. Hard hitting subject here is in much need of restrain.

Manmarziyaan (Anurag Kashyap, 2018) 6/10

Kashyap takes a slight U-turn from his usual dark hard-hitting films and comes up with a romantic film although his three characters are all deeply troubled and obsessed. The love triangle involves free spirited Rumi (Tapsee Pannu) in love with wacky and committment phobe Vicky (Vicky Kaushal). He is a wannabee VJ, has an intensely sexual relationship with Rumi and runs whenever the "M" word is brought up. Fed up with his non-commital and immature attitude she decides to get married out of spite to Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan) who is a banker from London and who secretly knows about her obsessive previous relationship. Post- marriage the two former lovers continue to meet while the patient husband watches and waits for his wife to make up her mind between the two men. The second part of this film is lifted straight from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" with Aishwarya Rai married to Ajay Devgan while pining for former lover Salman Khan who continues to stalk her while she is on her honeymoon. But the three characters in both films are completely different. Abhishek Bachchan does some of his best work here playing his character with a quiet stillness with his expressive eyes doing all the emoting. In complete contrast is Vicky Kaushal as the wild and sexually charged lover who loves with all his heart but wants no responsibility of a permanent relationship. Tapsee Pannu has the vivacity of a young Kajol and gives an intensely charged performance juggling her feelings for both men. The film has an outstanding soundtrack with the appearance of the twin hip-hop dancers Poonam & Priyanka who threaten to steal the whole movie whenever they appear. Quirky film has a lot of highs but Kashyap needs to stick to the dark side of cinema he revels in.

Love After Death / The Marriage Fool (Charles Matthau, 1998) 7/10

Charming romantic comedy has two iconic actors effortlessly doing what they did on screen for over 50 years. A lonely widower (Walter Matthau) gingerly decides to step out and finds unexpected romance with a flamboyant widow (Carol Burnett) much to the consternation of his three sons. Old fashioned film relies totally on the great chemistry of the two leads who create sparks and get good support from John Stamos as the committment phobe eldest son who is involved with his co-worker (Teri Polo). Matthau is extremely moving and droll at the same time and has an obvious screen comfort with Burnett in this their third teaming on screen. Matthau's son directs.

Happy Anniversary (David Miller, 1959) 5/10

Silly sex comedy involving a wedding anniversary that explodes when a couple (David Niven & Mitzi Gaynor) reveal to her parents they had premarital sex. The inlaws are appalled, their snotty kids act like shrinks, television sets get smashed and the marriage is on the verge of divorce. Frantic farce is loud like a sitcom with television getting the brunt of Hollywood's kicks as the screenplay relentlessly runs down the medium. Niven gives it a go and has good chemistry with perky Gaynor. The film depicts a new sort of family life emerging during the late 1950s with kids in the know - a funny moment as the family watches on tv an advertisement for a wonder brassiere - couples openly acting sexual which was different to the previous old fashioned family life depicted on screen. Little Patty Duke plays the couple's precocious daughter who announces on live tv that her parents had sex before marriage causing the network to go into a tizzy. Carl Reiner plays Niven's randy business partner.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:06 pm

Beautiful Boy (Felix van Groeningen, 2018) 6/10

Haunting highly-personal story about a teenage boy's drug addiction and the trauma his family goes through as they helplessly watch him spiral out of control. Based on a pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, the film is formulaic but presented in an intriguing time-jumping manner as the story unfolds. David Sheff (Steve Carell) is horrified to discover his seemingly normal and happy-go-lucky teenage son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) is addicted to a mixture of alcohol and assorted drugs. He lives with his father, step-mother (Maura Tierney) and two step siblings and is to all appearances happy, a budding writer and on the verge of going to college. The boy's life is described through the eyes of the father as we continuously move backwards to his childhood and forward to the present. There are no easy answers as to why the boy starts taking drugs but the screenplay hints at the child's fears of abandonment after his parents' divorce and a need for love even though his parents try their best. Drug addiction is never easy on the patient nor on the immediate family as they try to come to grips with the situation with self blame the most obvious reaction. Nic goes in and out of rehab, goes to college for a bit, moves in with his mother (Amy Ryan) but each time has a relapse which is the way addiction works. The film goes on too long as it charts a relentless cycle of relapses but it's strength lies in the relationship between father and son. Carell is very good during the quieter moments spent alone in reflection with his eyes showing the huge sense of parental responsibility but tends to get shrill during the more animated hysterical scenes. The film belongs to Chalamet who is fantastic as he goes through a gamut of emotions - vulnerabilty, fear, aggression, desperation - pretending to enjoy daily life during moments of sobriety and lying when under the influence of crystal meth which twists his personality. The screenplay does not shy away from scenes showing the addict shooting up followed by harrowing moments while under the influence. Far from perfect the film still manages to convey the terrible way substance abuse can destroy lives.

The Best of Everything (Jean Negulesco, 1959) 5/10

Campy Madison Avenue shenanigans 1950s style where all the men are lechers and the female secretaries are lovelorn and waiting to be pounced upon. A trio of women (Hope Lange, Diane Baker, Suzy Parker) not only have to deal with a bitchy editor (Joan Crawford) but also fall prey to difficult relationships with assorted men in and out of the office - a brooding drunk (Stephen Boyd), a two-timing womanizer (Robert Evans) and a nasty stage director (Louis Jourdan). The editor-in-chief (Brian Aherne) is a dirty old man prone to pinching the bottoms of the office girls and comes on to a fellow executive (Martha Hyer), an unwed mother, who rejects his advances. Based on Rona Jaffe's trashy bestseller the all star cast mostly fumbles through all the melodrama. Crawford stands out with her portrayal of an ambitious woman who has achieved everything in life yet is lonely without any love in her life. Negulesco shoots this glossy soap opera in cinemascope with brightly lit scenes but the screenplay is hopelessly dated with its message to women that its better to avoid the work world and stick to marriage and raising kids in the suburbs. The film was nominated for two Oscars - the theme song sung by Johnny Mathis and for the slick costumes worn by all the female cast.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:01 am

Mindhunter (2017) Various 10/10
The Wild Boys (2017) Bertrand Mandico 7/10
Postcards From London (2018) Steve McLean 6/10
Ray Meets Helen (2018) Alan Rudolph 4/10
The Tale (2018) Jennifer Fox 6/10
A Kid Like Jake (2018) Silas Howard 6/10
Assassination Nation (2018) Sam Levinson 6/10
Juliet, Naked (2018) Jesse Peretz 4/10

Repeat viewings

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) Mervyn LeRoy 8/10
The Young Lions (1958) Edward Dmytryk 5/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:31 pm

Mary Poppins Returns (Rob Marshall, 2018) 5/10

I never took to this character or the original film. While I was very familiar (and loved) the Sherman Brothers' score as a kid I never actually saw the film until I was well into my twenties. Thought it was rather tedious but found Julie Andrews amusing enough in her iconic part. I raised both my kids on a good staple of Disney fare throughout their childhood so they had a very special fondness for the classic original having watched the film on video probably a hundred times - last week both apparently got bleary-eyed watching Mary descend again from the sky in this sequel which has taken Hollywood 54 years to make. No doubt it's a welcome return so new generations can enjoy P.L. Travers' iconic and delightful character. The film is charming but absolutely inconsequential with more than a passing resemblance to situations and secondary characters from the original film so it almost seems like a reboot instead of a sequel. The screenplay takes up several decades after the first film with both kids now grown up. Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is a recent widower with three kids and still lives in his late father's old house with the family cook (Julie Walters). His sister Jane (Emily Mortimer), like her mother, is an activist. The plot revolves around the family under threat of getting their house repossessed by the bank - Colin Firth is appropriately droll as the token Disney villain. To the rescue comes Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) descending from the sky holding her umbrella as nanny and saviour. Helping her is cockney street lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), clearly a tribute to the original's chimney sweep played by Dick Van Dyke who also makes an appearance here as an old banker in a brief song and dance turn. The film infuses animated sequences with Poppins and Jack taking the kids on a magical journey under the ocean and inside a Royal Doulton bowl. There is a visit to Poppins' flame haired eccentric cousin (Meryl Streep in a hideous cameo speaking and singing one song in a strong Russian accent) where the room moves upside down with everyone sitting on the ceiling which is now beneath their feet. This sequence harks back to the tea party on the ceiling at Ed Wynn's house in the original film. Angela Lansbury makes a cameo appearance as an old balloon seller who reminds of the old lady with the pigeons in the original played by Jane Darwell. Blunt does a delightful impersonation of Julie Andrews but the screenplay relegates her totally in the background during the film's second half. The score is merely passable with one huge production number involving Miranda (and a bunch of guys all in silhouette) who gives an energetic performance. The film scores with its outstanding production design, costumes and visual effects but too bad the screenplay kept looking towards the original film for inspiration instead of following one of Travers' many books about Poppins. Let's hope the next installment is better and gives Blunt more to do as Mary Poppins.

White Boy Rick (Yann Demange, 2018) 5/10

The American dream Detroit-style. True story is fascinating as a period piece - the look of the film, the costumes - but the relentlessly depressing lives of the people entrenched in the drug culture is very downbeat. 14-year old Rick (Richie Merritt) lives with his ne'er-do-well daddy (Matthew McConaughy) who deals in selling illegal guns. His sister (Beth Powley) is a junkie and has run off with her drug dealer boyfriend. Mom has run off and grandparents (Bruce Dern & Piper Laurie) are senile. Fed up with poverty the young boy spends the next few years hanging out with black drug dealers, becomes an informant for the cops and the FBI (Jennifer Jason Leigh & Brian Tyree Henry), gets shot and survives, fathers a child, starts dealing drugs and gets rich. It all comes crashing down and a prison sentence all before he comes of age. Well acted film moves too fast covering the events in the lives of this family.
Last edited by Reza on Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:12 am

Bird Box (Susanne Bier, 2018) 6/10

One of the most distracting sights in any film is if the leading lady has had her face stretched rendering her face immobile. That is the case with Sandra Bullock in this nerve wracking film which has scenes that require a certain amount of facial movement to register fear, anger, anguish and pain. Bullock's face sadly no longer has the capacity to do that. Bier's film has a number of similarities to "A Quiet Place" with a few variations in reverse. Some unseen monster or force unleashes itself on the world causing an apocalypse - humans start committing suicide once their eyes are exposed to the invisible creature. Those who manage to shield their eyes survive. A group of disparate survivors manage to band together and try to figure out what to do. One by one the force starts killing them off. It becomes a race against time for a mother (Sandra Bullock) and her two kids to reach a safe haven via a treacherous river with deadly rapids while wearing blindfolds. Tautly directed film manages to create a menacing atmosphere with a gritty Bullock going through every imaginable hurdle - a car accident, giving birth, dodging assorted maniacs - while keeping her kids under strict orders and rules as she helps them in a desperate bid for survival. The story is also the maternal journey of this woman who goes from being uncertain about wanting her unborn child to being forced to look after two children who are deprived of childhood pleasures and are instead mentally trained to be like tiny warriors. John Malkovich is a hoot as one of the good guys with a foul mouth and psychotic persona while Trevante Rhodes makes an appropriate saviour for Bullock.

The Old Man & the Gun (David Lowery, 2018) 7/10

Laconic old man (Robert Redford), a compulsive bank robber who has spent his entire life in a spiral of escapes and arrests, heads a gang of three for yet more robberies. Redford claimed this was going to be his farewell film performance but he later retracted. Lowery's film is an ode to the charisma of not only the grizzled and charming bank robber but also very much an ode to Redford's long career where he played numerous bank robbers. The film is a series of cat-and-mouse robbery montages as the old man, along with his two equally old accomplices (Danny Glover & Tom Waits), manage to calmly stake out banks and get away after robbing them. Along the way there is a sweet romance with a widow (Sissy Spacek) and attempts to stay one step ahead of the local cop (Casey Affleck) who is on his trail. Redford's face is now riddled with lines but beneath all of that his good old boy charm is gloriously visible which he uses to great effect in a performance that is extremely low key yet manages to easily dominate the film but in a good way. The incredible chemistry with Spacek is also one of the film's major delights in this their first teaming on screen. Lowery's inspired unobtrusive direction allows each member of the cast to shine in a film that is a heart-warming and old fashioned delight.

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018) 8/10

Wicked and zany power tangle set during the early eighteenth century reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain. Lanthimos brings his own quirky style to the story completely dispensing with the usual stuffy and pompous rendering which has been the forte of such historical dramas in the past. Helping him greatly is a deliciously savage screenplay playing fast and loose with historical fact, the gorgeous candle-lit cinematography of Robbie Ryan who often shoots at off-kilter angles using a fisheye lens which causes visual distortion and claustrophobia, witty costumes by Sandy Powell which help to accentuate the three main characters and a bombastic score consisting of classical and modern pieces. At the centre of the film are three superb actresses who swagger to dangerous proportions playing the historical characters of this story. Lady Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her poor cousin Abaigail (Emma Stone) fight tooth and nail for the favours and affection of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in and out of bed. The monarch is in a sad state after 17 pregnancies that failed to provide her an heir and has been reduced to acting like an impetuous, whiny and jealous child which the two women try to use to their advantage. Sarah is blunt and goes into an attack like a coiled viper while Abigail uses cunning calm as her weapon of flattery. All three actresses give memorable performances with Colman the clear standout as the tragi-comic queen who in even her most vulnerable moments manages to show what makes her a true monarch.

Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018) 8/10

Predictable crowd pleaser is a humourous road movie with a message. Despite many funny moments this little film is terribly sad. Farrelly brings his quirky touch to this true story about two very different men who get to spend time together and end up not only friends but along the way learn from each other too. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a burly Italian bouncer from the Bronx, takes up a job as chauffeur to Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a multi-lingual black musician and piano virtuoso. They drive way down South for a series of concerts which sets up various scenes amongst rabid white racists. The act of segregation in history is always a jarring scene to witness. The wonderfully perceptive screenplay consists of constant banter between the two men and both actors are wonderful. Mortensen playing a dumb caricature manages to infuse great warmth and feeling into his character using the accent and a gained girth to get into his skin. Ali is his complete opposite as the refined, dignified and very articulate musician who remains outwardly calm through all the indignities thrown at him yet is quietly seething with repressed fury beneath the facade. The film superbly evokes the period - 1962 - via outstanding set design, costumes and music on the soundtrack. This is strictly old fashioned schmaltz from a bygone era which is given oomph by two talented actors at the top of their game.

Julia, du bist zauberhaft / Adorable Julia (Albert Weidenmann, 1962) 6/10

Frothy comedy based on the story, "Theatre", by Somerset Maugham. Julia (Lili Palmer), a famous stage actress and married to an understanding director (Charles Boyer), on an impulse embarks on an affair with a young fan (Jean Sorel) who flatters her. Disillusioned with her career and seeking passion missing in her marriage the affair puts spark back into her life. But things don't go according to plan when she discovers her young lover has ulterior motives of his own. She gets her revenge on stage where she shows nobody can hoodwink her out of being the great star she is. Palmer, dressed by Pierre Balmain, looks very elegant and sophisticated and has great fun with the part passing acidic quips in the form of voice overs while expressing her inner thoughts about the characters around her. This fluffy material was remade years later in Hollywood as "Being Julia" with Annette Bening who received an Oscar nomination.


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