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Peninsula

Sequel to Train To Busan. The first film was tight, condensed, localised and focussed. This is atrocious. Shoe horned in American actors, zero tension and slap stick action scenes. I turned it off half way through. Such a shame. It really tries to be light hearted in places for no reason. 

1/5

Amazon Prime

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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. 

 

Likewise, I think the hype around this is ridiculous. I kept feeling jt was focusing on the wrong, less interesting, character when there was an amazing character I hadn't known about before who I found fascinating but the film wanted to tell me about this dickhead instead, and if I was supposed to sympathise with him I didn't really - found him despicable which I didn't really enjoy.

 

 

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Nomadland

 

Nothing coming up in the search for this. Getting the most attention at the oscars and i can't really see why. Frances McDormand too seems to leading the way for best actress, can't see why for that either. She can do this in her sleep, looking glum for 95% of it. If the Oscars show clips they're gonna have a hard job finding what to pick. Her character has no real personality, nor does anyone she meet, it ambles along trying its best to elevate the moments by casting real people to breathe reality into it. It works, it feels real, until recognizable actors also turn up with their non personality and join McDormand in doing and saying nothing.

 

There's no real angle here like in Into The Wild where McCandless needed to escape the pressure of his parents and carries that anger with him throughout. Mcdormand's character Fern isn't angry, just sort of lost. She gets offers to stay in houses but doesn't take them, preferring to live in her van just...because.

 

I watched a program ages ago about a young guy who got a lot of metal piercings on his face, to the point it became unmanageable, and he was sat in a cafe and was asked what is behind the attraction and he basically said; i don't know why, i just...do it. Like he wasn't happy about it, like it was beyond his control. Not an addiction, just who he is. There are homeless so used to living outside that if given a house they feel trapped by the walls. 

 

I watched The Indian Runner a few days before and it's pretty similiar. I recognize the humanist touch, the genuinely good direction but get bored by the preference to not explore issues through conflict and dialogue but distill them in images and montages with music and narration. Everything implied but left unsaid. Viggo Mortensen's character is an ex war vet, but until his anger is genuinely expressed through actual words at the end his character feels shallow. Or it feels so performative, romanticized. I think it's just balance for me, I'm not able to be wowed by films that i can see have quality.

 

When i watch them the first time I'm bored, then read others acclaim with 'I've seen this film 8 times! And each time it grows on me'. I think; i was bored the first time...8 times? The characters grow in the minds of people in ways that aren't explicitly there. The scene where Viggo and his brother are messing around in the fields like they were kids, oh god get on with it might become; it's so wonderful to see them connect in this child like innocent way, i can't wait to rewatch this film for the 9th time to re experience this scene all over again. What lyrical beauty and poetry! It's like back being with old friends.

 

There are more interesting stories to be told about van life. In Nomadland you don't see Fern's mundane struggle for space inside her van, you don't see hardships really; it seems to try to say something about her being indifferent about not having a spare tyre and her mate saying; what??? You could get lost out here! Sort it out! Except without any of the shouting implied there.

 

School teachers and nurses in silicon valley have been forced into living in their cars while working; there's two big sides of that story there.

 

The film makes a big point of showing that she works at Amazon,  but everywhere else she works is anonymous. It's not like when she works in fast food there's an establishing shot of golden arches. It says nothing about work because you never see her interviewed, she, a 50/60 year old woman appears to jump from job to job with ease. One job being on a construction site. You don't get a sense how long she works, how long she travels, what she earns, what her expenses are. 

 

If the film had shown her job interviews it could have touched on any stigma of her nomadic life. Work colleagues are either not shown or joyful, and there is a camaraderie there. The only time there is friction is when she meets old friends who have pity for her, even though she says; I'm fine, i choose this. It could have shown the benefits in increased time for her but it doesn't. 

 

Maybe her friends are worried because she comes across unhappy. You don't really know her financial reality, how pushed she was into this lifestyle. I reached the end and thought; i don't remember how this film began, in terms of memorable shots. It was bound to have scenes of her driving on the road, but it could have began with a day in her life and it chose not to. It begins at Amazon. 

 

I think if it wins best picture, and more catch up with it, maybe only 1 out of 5 of people will love it. It should have appealed to me because I've lived in a van for long periods the same. When a character says; there are 10 important lessons you must know! ..i really wanted to know. Of course it doesn't tell you. Who cares about detail? It cuts to someone else talk about sizes of tubs you might prefer to shit in. 

 

2.5/5

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Orphan.

 

Fairly awful and predictable horror/thriller. Vera Farmiga has stillborn third child. Her and her husband decide to adopt from a local orphanage. Girl they adopt is sweet, sensitive, intelligent and creative, but doesn’t really play with the other children. What could go wrong? Utterly predictable apart from the twist, which I genuinely didn’t see coming until a big clue just before the reveal.

 

Acting is fine, but it’s very by the numbers and not shocking in the slightest, with a thoroughly uninteresting ending.

 

2 out of 5.

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

 

I remember watching this in the cinema and being pretty disappointed, it wasn't anywhere near as good as Avengers Assemble.  I watched it again when it came out on blu ray and still thought it was a bit meh.  I've been doing an MCU run through and got to this on Sunday night.  I'm not sure whether it was the new TV or not but I really really enjoyed it this time.  I remember it being flabby and a bit boring but I didn't find it was on 3rd viewing.  Not as good as Assemble but a good 3.5/5.

 

I do feel sorry for Hawkeye though, doesn't matter what he does, he's still guy with a bow.

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Some goodies as I reach 95 films for March:

 

Science Fair - 4/5

 

These kids should be absolute rockstars. From cancer-detecting devices to calculators that spew out Shakespearean insults, there’s jaw-dropping, grin-inducing ingenuity from start-to-finish. Hugely satisfying epilogue too.

 

(Disney+ UK)

 

Thunder Road - 3/5

 

All about Jim Cummings fantastic performance as a man barely holding his life together. Nowhere near as indulgent as that sounds, it’s a punchy, emotional ride injected with jet black humour. An indie darling that delivers on its festival hype.

 

(Netflix UK)

 

Finding Steve McQueen - 3/5

 

A gentle 70s period piece about a heist with links to Tricky Dicky Nixon’s hushed-up slush fund. Lovingly detailed with a great soundtrack, it’s a really solid A-B tale, with welcome appearances by William Fichtner and Forest Whitaker.

 

(NOW / Sky Cinema)

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On 28/03/2021 at 09:03, ZOK said:

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.


Just watched this based on your comments, some fantastically inappropriate laughs throughout, the precursor to the final scene is just so wrong.

 

That final scene though, I don’t think I’ve guilty laughed at anything as much as that :lol::lol::lol:

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2014)

 

I didn't get on with this one, when I saw it on release. 

 

I dunno, I think was expecting something else. 

 

Decided to give it a go again, when the 4K Dolby Vision stream popped up on iTunes for £2.99. 

 

And I really enjoyed it. It's not prime Ritchie by any means, but there's a lovely playfulness to the whole thing.

 

Plus, it looks fucking gorgeous. 

 

A shame about that Hammer bloke, though...

 

3/5

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Die Hard With a Vengeance - Went back with some worries about this. Not seen since the 90s but remember loving it.

 

I do remember the end being abit weak though. Which is a shame when John McTiernan has Predator and Die Hard 1 on his CV with those unforgettable endings. 

 

What it does have is one of the best mismatched cop partnerships ever featured on film. Samuel L and a hungover John McClane trying to save New York are incredible every moment they are on screen. The first dash in the taxi across New York is still exhilarating. Some absolutely crazy driving ripping through Central Park. Jeremy Irons is a riot and chews up the scenery every chance he gets. 

 

That last hour falls apart though. Its a shame as you don't really see huge budget action films like this anymore with no superheros. I'd have scored it 4 out of 5 when I saw it. Now though 3 out of 5.

 

Not just for the messy last hour, it feels like they ran out of money. The action sequences on the back end weren't upto much after a crazy start.

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16 hours ago, Orion said:

Die Hard With a Vengeance - Went back with some worries about this. Not seen since the 90s but remember loving it.

 

I do remember the end being abit weak though. Which is a shame when John McTiernan has Predator and Die Hard 1 on his CV with those unforgettable endings. 

 

What it does have is one of the best mismatched cop partnerships ever featured on film. Samuel L and a hungover John McClane trying to save New York are incredible every moment they are on screen. The first dash in the taxi across New York is still exhilarating. Some absolutely crazy driving ripping through Central Park. Jeremy Irons is a riot and chews up the scenery every chance he gets. 

 

That last hour falls apart though. Its a shame as you don't really see huge budget action films like this anymore with no superheros. I'd have scored it 4 out of 5 when I saw it. Now though 3 out of 5.

 

Not just for the messy last hour, it feels like they ran out of money. The action sequences on the back end weren't upto much after a crazy start.

Its a 5/5 for me

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Tesla

 

If you ever wanted to see Nikola Tesla singing Everybody Wants to Rule the World then this is the movie for you! Utterly bizarre biopic that wastes Ethan Hawke.

 

1/5

 

Captain Marvel

 

Wasn't a fan of this when I saw it at the cinema. With this rewatch my view of it has done a complete 180 and now I think its top tier MCU. It has a real heart, its exactly the right length and has fantastic performances. 

 

4.5/5

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Greta - 2/5

 

I enjoyed most of it. There’s nothing particularly new here but I like it’s aesthetic and the cast does a good job selling it all to me.

 

Id probably have been at 3 but it’s got too many annoying tropes that make no sense and simply had me frustrated and for me at least offered no reason for occurring.

 

Spoiler

The stalking her friend scene in in a bar, subway and bus is fine but just too implausible. Somehow hidden down long corridors and in an alleyway. But taking photos that put her out in the open. The concept is okay but lacks enough subtlety.

 

And the whole final sequence completely soured it for me. The evil lady is drugged hard enough to basically pass out but within minutes is up and a threat again. Admittedly not much of a threat but what’s the point? I think it takes away from what I think played better was just straight up that her friend put in the effort to find her.

 

And the poorly locked box at the end, urgh, again adds nothing and stood out as immediately stupid.


A little promise thrown away for me.

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Based on comments above I watched Under The Tree. I think I must have missed something. I didn’t find it particularly funny (laugh free in fact) and it was completely predictable. So, yeah, did I miss something?

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Mixed bag to reach 100 films for March, might try similar for April, as have found some gems on the various streaming services outside of the various screeners that arrive in my work inbox.

 

Vampires Vs The Bronx - 3/5

 

Much less of a b-movie romp than the trailer I saw suggested, and more of a Stranger Things knock-off does vampires. Could have been a bit tighter as even with the short runtime it sags in a couple of places, but does have enough heart to pull through the slower moments.

 

Yes, God, Yes - 3/5

 

Teenager Alice has a sexual awakening while at a Christian camp. Could have been far trashier but as a surprisingly sweet (pun intended) coming-of-age drama. Natalia Dyer plays Alice with just the right amount of naivety, and the supporting cast is decent. Sincere rather than resorting to shock value and all the better for it.

 

Ava - 2/5

 

Good performances from Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich and Colin Farrell can’t save this thriller from being much more than by-the-numbers fluff.


The film is full of amusing ‘Hollywood fights’, which made me appreciate films like You Were Never Really Here where the physical confrontations are brutally quick. Still, Chastain clearly put some work in and the action at least avoids the hyper-editing that often undoes the hard work of the cast/stunt crew. 

 

Easy escapism that won’t stick in the memory for long.

 

(all on Netflix UK)

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11 hours ago, skondo said:

Based on comments above I watched Under The Tree. I think I must have missed something. I didn’t find it particularly funny (laugh free in fact) and it was completely predictable. So, yeah, did I miss something?


Sounds like you missed everything! :lol:

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The Shout

 

Self centered traveller bloke comes back from Australia and shits in John Hurt and wifey's living room. 

 

Quite a premonition as quackery has grown since '78. 

 

Phwoar/10

 

The-shout-poster.jpg

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30 minutes ago, skondo said:

@ZOK Not my sense of humour perhaps. While I could see the absurdity of certain events, they didn’t make me laugh.


It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, those Icelandics do like their humour dry...but even if it’s not your sense of humour, I’m surprised you got nothing from it. It’s a lovely piece of storytelling. 
 

Honestly though, it’s hilarious! I’m amazed you didn’t find it funny. Poor Askur, the angle of his head after his abduction, I was in tears! Also that was very sad.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League - 2/5

 

A bloated, joyless testament to just how badly Warner rushed and dropped the ball with their DC Universe; if this is the best they’ve got, it might be time to draft the reboots.

 

TV movie twaddle on a blockbuster budget. Actually weirdly impressive that something so devoid of wit, charm and excitement exists on such a grand scale.

 

Willem Dafoe’s hair is magnificent though.

 

(Now/Sky Cinema)

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14 minutes ago, ucci said:

I only found out today the tragedy behind Snyder leaving the original cut

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/zack-snyder-steps-down-justice-league-deal-family-tragedy-1006455


The tribute to his daughter on the credits was a touching moment. I hope he’s had some form of closure on that period, and at least the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive from fans. Wouldn’t be surprised if a sequel gets greenlit, just because of the hype around the ‘Snyderverse’. Guess that depends on what kinds of contacts all the stars are on.

 

I am actually excited for Army of the Dead, which looks like the kind of b-movie fun I can get onboard with.

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Center Of The Web (1992)

Or Centre Of The Web, although searching for that got me nowhere. Twisty thriller where a drama teacher gets mistaken for a hitman, cobblers about assassinating a congressman or whatever, you just don't know who to trust! Seriously, you don't because this throws twists about like confetti, it gets more convoluted with each reveal to the point you just give up trying to follow it and just enjoy the ride. And it's an alright ride from director David A Prior, if you're not putting too much thought in. Charles Napier is in it for about 30 seconds, no seriously, I'm not exaggerating. Tony Curtis is in there too, as is Robert Davi who stands out here, puts the effort in. I suggest you watch this with a friend/partner, a bottle of wine and a mind open to a silly, twist-laden straight to video thriller.

 

2/5

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Godzilla vs Kong - 2/5.

 

Its absolute shite. I'm all for a fun popcorn flick but my god have some substance. 

 

I give it 2 because the action scenes were ok.

 

Going to watch There Will be Blood now and instantly forget the dross I just watched. 

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Peelers - 1/5

 

Strippers have to defend themselves from some sort of infection-laden baddie. Boobs, gore and still shite. It’s no Zombie Strippers! that’s for sure.

 

Kill Me Three Times - 1/5

 

Felt like I died a little inside at least three times while watching this. Awful crime thriller that even Simon Pegg can’t save from being an absolute dumpster fire.

 

(Netflix UK)


The Last Castle 3/5

 

It’s probably a 2, but it was just nice to watch something competently made after the other two films. Plus Robert Redford makes even fairly bland prison thrillers watchable.

 

(NOW/Sky Cinema)

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2019 After The Fall Of New York (1983)

Italian knock-off Escape From New York with a bit of Mad Max thrown in, and it has to be said this is how you do it. Shedloads going off all the time, seldom boring. For rip-off there are plenty of new ideas, a lot of effort must have gone into this, with tons of models, exciting camera work bringing loads of movement to the fights and chases, varied locations and sets, although there's still plenty of that trademark ropeiness you'd expect from this sort of production, but that's all part of the charm. Obviously the acting and story aren't the greatest but this is a hugely entertaining slice of post-apocalyptic nuttiness.

 

4/5

 

 

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Wonder Woman 1984

 

As a superhero movie that revolves neither around the hero punching something nor collecting a glowing cube, this represents a profound shift in the art. Very entertaining, and a bit of an adventure movie. Very distinct from the first movie, and the better for it.

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