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Angel’s Egg - 5/5

 

I consider my self fairly well versed in anime, but for some reason I’d never heard of this film before. It’s from director Mamoru Oshii (of Ghost In the Shell fame) and is a stunning examination of faith set in a desolate Sci Fi/fantasy world.

 

It certainly won’t be for everyone, as it’s an ambiguous, bleak, somber tale told with hardly any dialogue. But I absolutely loved it.

 

I see the dvd Sells for about sixty quid on Amazon, but thankfully it can also be found on YouTube.

 

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A dark song (2016 Amazon Prime)

 

What a little talked about gem of a horror movie this is. 

 

Only two people in the entire movie. 

Catherine Walker is a mother who contacts Steve Oram to perform a spell/ritual so she can talk to her dead son. 

 

There's loads more to it than that but best to go in knowing as little as possible.  But it is a very pagan take on,  and a more respectful viewing of the occult and ritual magic.  

 

4.5/5

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Next Three Days 

 

I was honestly not expecting much here, I remember getting serious sorta late 90s Hollywood action cheese vibes from the outset but I was pleasantly surprised. Instead I found a well paced thriller that kept you thinking without ever dazzling or amazing. 
 

3.5/10

 

The Social Dilemma 

 

A thought provoking look at the affects of social media on many levels such as individual human psychology, the economy and society. It’s broad approach left it feeling shallow in depth at times but it was well put together and informative none the less.

 

3/5

 

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Octopussy 

 

Another incredibly solid outing for a Moore as Bond.  The plot is overly complicated but as the film is fast paced, extremely well acted and just plain fun it doesn’t matter much at all. I can’t recall if it was this or AVTAK for my first Bond film at the cinema. 
 

4.5/5

 

The Fourth Protocol.

 

Basically the same plot as Octopussy. The book is magnificent (Forsyths best IMHO) and this jettisons much of the richly detailed plot. What it does have going for it is two great performances from Caine and Brosnan with great support from Beatty,  Macanally and the female android from Blade Runner. It’s also got Max Headroom in it which automatically means it’s great.
 

3.5/5 

 

Trial by Fire.

 

Absolutely captivating filmmaking from Zwick, particularly in the second half. O’Connell is staggering in the main role, perfectly capturing the essence of  a poor white trash, violent, complicated man who is convicted for murdering his children. 
 

4/5

 

Starred Up

 

My second film starring O’Connell. I’m not really sure what the point of the film was. It perhaps wastes two riveting performances and simply fails to go anywhere. It’s very bleak and I like my movies to have at least a little bit of hope. 
 

2/5

 

The Hitmans Apprentice 

 

I thought this would be rubbish, but ended up really liking it. O’Connell is mesmerising for a third time and is equally matched by Tim Roth. Peter Mullan is also his usual perfection. It’s brisk, totally doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. 
 

4/5

 

The Holcroft Covenant 

 

Utterly daft hokum starring Michael Caine. I rather enjoyed it because it didn’t take itself seriously and I’m a sucker for anything about old Nazis trying to set up a fourth Reich and getting thrawted at every turn. Also, the impeccable Michael Lonsdale is in it.
 

3/5

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Aquaman

Jesus H Christ on a jet ski. I know it was only made because Marvel have managed to make billions from films involving a Raccoon in space and a man with a magical cape but this film is just awful. It's all over the place and some of it looked great whereas other parts were like a cut scene from a Final Fantasy game on a PS3. The plot is generic, some of the dialogue is like a rejected Mills and Boon novel and the very end made me laugh hysterically. It's just bad. The cast is rubbish, it's far too long and it's actually quite boring in places.

1/5

 

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Mortal Kombat (2021) - 3/5

 

Had low expectations because video games and films go together about as well as Twitter and rationality, but really enjoyed this. 
 

Loads of nods to the games, obviously, but done with a touch more humour than I was expecting. Very much rated-R with some gnarly fatalities (one got a very loud ‘fuck yeah!’ from me), pretty damn good VFX throughout, and more fighting than you get at closing time outside your local Litten Tree.

 

Enjoyable popcorn fluff that is actually far better put together than I expected. A good end to the week.

 

(watched via work screener)

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World War Z

 

Was compelled to watch this thanks to the auto start mechanism streaming services love to force upon us. Saw it years ago and on second viewing thought it was a decent film. 
 

 No real bloat. It is quite different to the book but works as a movie. Decent. 
 

3/5

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The Last Run (1971)

If I was to give you a plot summary for this you'd probably think this was an exciting action-packed 70s crime movie: George C Scott is an ageing getaway driver living in Portugal, he does a run to get an escaped prisoner out of Spain into France, but things get a bit complicated. The build-up feels like things will kick off, but what we actually get is a sharp, well-written three-hand inter-generational drama. The story is a simple one, the richness comes from well-defined characters and their interaction. Scott's driver has a compelling back-story that makes what he's doing make total sense. All the love he has is for his car now his wife and child are gone. The other two characters are a little less complex but work well in the story. It helps this film looks and sounds amazing. After the titles there's a scene with Scott taking his souped-up motor out for a run in the Portuguese countryside, gorgeous vistas matched with Jerry Goldsmith's amazing soundtrack. Towards the end of the film there is a long, thrilling and very picturesque car chase through the mountains that sums up everything good about this excellent film. This is a very watchable character-driven drama full of detail.

 

4/5

 

It's on Youtube, recent upload so will probably get nuked soon. Get on it!

 

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Yogi Bear

Amazon Prime

 

Our latest Friday night family film and what a stinker. A pretty good cast making the lead characters come to life in quite a nice way, and bar a few very weak scenes the effects aren't terrible...but dear god how did they make this so lifeless and dull. 

 

The central premise is the park is desperate for money otherwise it'll be closed down and the trees cut down. So the leads, including as the film acknowledges, a the world's only taking bear, find ways to save it. Umm....

 

The film trips itself up constantly with its own logic. The set pieces don't raise a smile. Our kids were bored throughout and I found it horrible. 

 

Best thing about the film was the original poster that got ripped to shreds by the internet.

 

1/5

 

 

yogi-bear.jpg

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On 22/03/2021 at 22:34, Ry said:

Judas and the Black Messiah - 3.5/5

 

Was alright. I was expecting something really brilliant but was a wee bit disappointed. 

Yeah same. 

 

I also watched The Favourite. 

 

Turned it off. Couldn't stand the characters or the humour. 

 

 

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Ultraviolet (2006)


Kurt Wimmer's previous film, Equilibrium, was a fun trashy SF b-movie with an epic final sequence, so his follow-up has been on the to-watch list for ages.

The concept of the US military attempting to engineer super-soldiers but instead unleashing a virus that creates super-powered vampires, leading to the world needing some kind of global health ministry to control the plague by going to war with said vampires is utterly bonkers, but I'm willing to give crazy premises a pass if quality action is delivered. Except the film couldn't even get that right.

 

The carnage is on a much bigger scale compared to Equilibrium, but has none of that film's visceral feel due to an over reliance on CGI and the curious decision of making the violence entirely bloodless (was Equilibrium the same?). The cinematography is dire, consisting of over-saturated, soft-focus shots that look as if someone smeared vaseline all over the lens before filming, and don't get me started on the abysmal dialogue and complete lack of character development. At a minimum, it would be good if the film attempted to give some idea regarding character motivations, but apart from the villain (who has a monologue to explain his master plan at the very end) and a lot of voiceover from Violet herself, fuck knows what was going on with all the other characters.

 

Avoid like the fucking plague.

 

0/5

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5 hours ago, Talvalin said:

The carnage is on a much bigger scale compared to Equilibrium, but has none of that film's visceral feel due to an over reliance on CGI and the curious decision of making the violence entirely bloodless (was Equilibrium the same?).

 

I don't think there was much blood in Equilibrium. I mean, it ended with

Spoiler

Taye Diggs's face getting sliced off

without a drop of blood to be seen!

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10 hours ago, Lovelyman said:

Yeah same. 

 

I also watched The Favourite. 

 

Turned it off. Couldn't stand the characters or the humour. 

 

 

 

THANK YOU! I fucking hated it. I hate caricatures and this film had no people in it, only caricatures.

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On 23/03/2021 at 20:38, PeteJ said:

The War with Grandpa

(Amazon Prime)

 

With a cast to die for, including De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walkin and Rob Riggle (who you will recognize if you've seen any middle-school type American film in the past five year's, he'll be the one playing the Dad) this family film was a massive hit in our house and hugely at odds with the critical panning it received.


This is a story about a grandad (De Niro) who has to move in with his daughter following an accident, taking his grandsons room. The Grandson is upset about this so declares war on De Niro to scare him off. It's silly fun with some entertaining set-pieces, including a few genuinely funny moments... so long as you don't think about it too much. De Niro is on full-on comedy mode and Walkin plays off him well, the rest of the cast are basically there to support these two. The kids aren't too annoying either and avoid whining. If the idea of seeing De Niro, Walkin and Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman playing Dodgeball in a trampoline park against a load of kids sounds like good fun, then you might well enjoy this. Note that the trailer contains most of the set pieces so stay away from that.

 

The film is sat at 29% on RT and this is really harsh. If I was watching it on my own with my critical eye then perhaps I'd score it that way, but with the kids (9 and 6) and my partner all sat down on a Friday evening it was a really entertaining surprise. Amazingly one of the most enjoyable films we've seen as a family over the past 12 months.

 

4/5

(based on watching with family) 

I just watched this with my 11 year old daughter and we were both entertained. On a side note Uma Thurman still looks great :)

 

A solid 3.5 Skulls/5

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Land of Mine (BBC iplayer) - foreign language film about a group of young German POWs tasked with clearing mines from a danish beach. 
 

it was excellent. 
 

4/5

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Bula Quo! (2013)

It's total shite saved only by the appearance of Rossi and Parfitt who, for their total lack of acting ability, still manage to come over as a couple of scamps getting into scrapes whilst on tour in Fiji. Honestly wouldn't be at all surprised if this was written off against tax, the whole thing is a gaudy, sun-soaked mess, with every minute passing the plot makes even less sense. Most of the budget clearly went into the air fare. Cheap, very cheerful, but otherwise toss. Nice to see Craig Fairbrass having an easy ride and paid-for holiday. I doubt even Quo fans would find this entertaining. Not a complete disaster, it has its moment but yeah, if it wasn't for Quo this would be a complete waste of time.

 

2/5

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Made in Italy

Amazon Prime

 

Liam Neeson co-stars in this quiet, gentle family drama of a father and son fixing up their house in Tuscany in order to sell it for plot reasons. Along the way they find ways to reconnect. 

 

This film has lovely scenery and revels in the clichéd Tuscany views, but that is pretty much the highlight of this film that more often than not fails to hit. It's a shame as there is a lovely film lurking in here somewhere but the script is so shallow that at no point does the film get under your skin. I felt like the script needed a few more passes before it was ready for filming. 

 

Interestingly Neeson's real life son is the son in the film, and their chemistry is understandably good, but while this could have been a very raw exploration over the loss of Natasha Richardson (Nesson's wife, who was killed in a skiing accident), it can't quite manage any level of depth. Whilst I confirm what the writer/ director was going for, it seems odd to cast both individuals and have the plot as it was if they weren't expecting to explore this difficult subject. There I can only conclude that an attempt was made, but not a very good one. 

 

There could have been something much more complex here but instead it's just a film that has pretty scenery and passes the time. 

 

2/5

 

PS my partner enjoyed it a lot more than me. 

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Under the Tree - 5/5 (MUBI / Prime)

 

This is superb stuff, an Icelandic comedy so dark light bends around it as you watch.

 

A guy gets kicked out by his wife and goes back to his parents, and finds himself in involved in their feud with the next door neighbours over trimming a tree. Lives are ruined. And when the final scene comes, you feel guilty laughing.

 

On a lighter note, if you are a fan of Skandi interior design you’ll be in heaven.

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Solo - I'd love to see the Lord & Miller version of this because there were hints of the crazy, weird humour they bring to projects but there was too much Ron Howard "safe" for me to feel excited or wowed at any point.

 

Alden Ehrenreich was very good as a young Han, Woody Harrelson was great, Donald Glover was okay as Lando. Is Paul Bethany ever bad in anything?

 

3 / 5.

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9 hours ago, ZOK said:

an Icelandic comedy so dark light bends around it

 

Christ, you weren't exaggerating.

 

Great film. The score is excellent as well

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Dolemite Is My Name - 4/5

 

Went into this complete oblivious to the fact that it was based on a real story. Really funny in parts and quite an endearing film overall despite some of the scenes and language. Few scenes where I thought they’d get all serious were overcome with humour or charm so that was quite nice to see.

 

Wesley Snipes absolutely steals it for me, his character was so funny.

 

 

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