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Rate the last film you watched out of 5


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An American Werewolf in Paris

 

Well, I rather enjoyed this considering it’s reputation. It was a fun romp that wasn’t a complete retread of the first film. The CGI was heavily criticised at the time but I found it passable. Obviously it’s nowhere near as good as the original but it was still a decent sequel 

 

3/5

 

The Harvest 

 

Spellbinding performances from Shannon and Morton help elevate this spooky tale. I wasn’t expecting much from this and it blew me away a little. Not an original bone in its body but I didn’t care as I was having so much fun. It’s about a boy who can’t walk and his odd parents.

 

4/5

 

Dawn of the Dead

 

Firstly, I was confused by the three different versions on Prime. I went with the theatrical cut and it started off well enough. I got further confused as it didn’t seem to be like the Snyder version.  Where was the shopping mall. Then they eventually get to the mall and for me this was where the film kinda nosedived in quality. I was bored and kept looking at my iPad for gaming news. I’m slowly making my way through Romero’s career but have yet to work out why he is so revered. The zombies look terrible.
 

Luckily, things take a turn for the better in the last 40 minutes. The film ends really well.
 

3/5

 

 

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13 minutes ago, sandman said:

An American Werewolf in Paris

 

Well, I rather enjoyed this considering it’s reputation. It was a fun romp that wasn’t a complete retread of the first film. The CGI was heavily criticised at the time but I found it passable. Obviously it’s nowhere near as good as the original but it was still a decent sequel 

 

3/5

 

The Harvest 

 

Spellbinding performances from Shannon and Morton help elevate this spooky tale. I wasn’t expecting much from this and it blew me away a little. Not an original bone in its body but I didn’t care as I was having so much fun. It’s about a boy who can’t walk and his odd parents.

 

4/5

 

Dawn of the Dead

 

Firstly, I was confused by the three different versions on Prime. I went with the theatrical cut and it started off well enough. I got further confused as it didn’t seem to be like the Snyder version.  Where was the shopping mall. Then they eventually get to the mall and for me this was where the film kinda nosedived in quality. I was bored and kept looking at my iPad for gaming news. I’m slowly making my way through Romero’s career but have yet to work out why he is so revered. The zombies look terrible.
 

Luckily, things take a turn for the better in the last 40 minutes. The film ends really well.
 

3/5

 

 

I just can't at that Romero comment. It was 1978. How the fuck were zombies supposed to look. Terrible is the point. 

 

Now watch Day of the dead and tell me that's a 3/5.  Consider the VFX alone. And remember is 1988/89

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My Son

 

Drama/Thriller with James McAvoy and Claire Foy. Their son goes missing - thats about the entire premise. The wonderful thing about this is McAvoy's entire script is improvised. He had no idea where the plot was going, what the motivations were, and he had no lines of dialogue given to him. A rough outline of his character and away he goes, he finds things out as we do. And fucking fuck me is he astonishing in it.

 

Really, really good film, which even without this 'gimmick' would be a solid and enjoyable thing. I always thought McAvoy was very good but this has elevated him.

 

4/5

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Underwater (2020)

An SF disaster film of sorts, a deep sea drilling rig fails hugely, and as a small group of survivors try to find a way back up they encounter something strange and deadly. This film tries to hard to create an atmosphere of danger and foreboding it neglects everything else like a crew you care about, or, for a films that is mostly about the survivors, any interesting dynamics between the crew. It doesn't help that a lot of the action happens in dark, murky areas only illuminated by lights lost in a swirl of debris. As it went on I found myself caring less and less, the ending which was meant to be emotional felt more like an obligation to characters who barely mattered. Alien is still the textbook example of how to do this sort of thing, and that's over 40 years old.

 

2.5/5

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Sex Education S3

 

It just doesn't know what to do with the main characters other than keep them apart artifically. Other chars fill the gap but they're a little less interesting, despite good performances. The sex school stuff feels a little undercooked and forced in the school too, leading to an unearned moment later on in the penultinate ep that feels like a much less good retread of the musical in S2.

 

Some unexpectedly good stuff though, in other places, quite literally.

 

3/5

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The Matrix Reloaded 

 

Still has some of the best editing I've seen for action sequences

 

4/5

 

The Matrix Revolutions

 

Half bollocks, half quite good

 

2.5/5

 

 

I think both of the sequels have aged more severely than the original, probably due to the amount of bendy man effects shite in it, and what happens when the directors are given free reign and shoehorn all their S&M fetish shit into it.

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Moneyball.

 

Baseball statistics thing with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt. Widely lauded by many and it's supposedly "not about the baseball"  it took me 3 attempts to watch this, I really didn't engage with it. I thought the ending with Beane in his car was laughably poor  and purely designed to pull at the heartstrings.

 

Despite that , Pitt and Hill are  generally excellent in their respective roles and there are no CGI dinosaurs chasing  Crisp Rat so y'know, positives.

 

2/5

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A Clockwork Orange

 

Went to see the 4K restoration - the first time I've seen a Kubrick film projected. So intense and ageless: an apolitical story about anarchy and chaos filmed by a man seriously detached from regular human experience. Utterly essential. 

 

5/5

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12 hours ago, lolly said:

Moneyball.

 

Baseball statistics thing with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt. Widely lauded by many and it's supposedly "not about the baseball"  it took me 3 attempts to watch this, I really didn't engage with it. I thought the ending with Beane in his car was laughably poor  and purely designed to pull at the heartstrings.

 

Despite that , Pitt and Hill are  generally excellent in their respective roles and there are no CGI dinosaurs chasing  Crisp Rat so y'know, positives.

 

2/5

 

Damn, scathing! 

 

I honestly think its one of the best films in the last decade and in the top 5 of sports movies (and I have no love or knowledge of baseball). I'm not alone either :)

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Dr Sleep

 

Me and the current MrsT watched this last night as noticed it was on Sky.  We both thought it was excellent.  I personally didnt think much of the shining, but while this is the pseudo sequel, we both though it was a far superior film.  Excellent cast, took its time to develop the story and while its a long film (2hrs+) would recommend.

 

Solid 4/5 from this house

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1 hour ago, Ry said:

 

Damn, scathing! 

 

I honestly think its one of the best films in the last decade and in the top 5 of sports movies (and I have no love or knowledge of baseball). I'm not alone either :)

I have to admit that found it a fairly interesting film, despite knowing nothing much about baseball. And having had to pause the film the film several times to look up on Wikipedia who exactly the “Tigers” or “Cardinals” or whoever were.

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Dune (2021)

As someone who's not familiar with the books, I was gripped by the worldbuilding, visual splendour, scale and characters. It's a gorgeous, well-acted movie with some topical themes. Chalamet and Ferguson are particularly good and Momoa is a crowd pleaser. It's a slow movie with only a few set pieces but I was never bored. In fact, I keep thinking about this movie and definitely want to see it again. Main gripes: it's very much the first part of a bigger story, but with part 2 not officialy confirmed, it would be rather unfulfilling if it ends here. The main villain is fairly one-note, at least in part 1 of the story. Zimmer's score is good but not as good as his best work for Nolan. And this one's a personal preference but I tend to prefer my sci-fi a bit harder and less mystical. 

Still, go see it on the biggest screen you can find.

4/5

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Running Red (1998)

Acceptable late-era PM Entertainment action. Jeff Speakman is definitely one of the better lower-tier action stars, has a lot more charisma than most too. It's a shame then he's having to do his best with this routine straight-to-video fare, the unique selling point of him being  ex-Russian army doesn't go anywhere and it ends predictably enough. It does have good action though especially the car stunts, and the train+bus bit is a highlight.

 

3/5

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, AlanT said:

Dr Sleep

 

Me and the current MrsT watched this last night as noticed it was on Sky.  We both thought it was excellent.  I personally didnt think much of the shining, but while this is the pseudo sequel, we both though it was a far superior film.  Excellent cast, took its time to develop the story and while its a long film (2hrs+) would recommend.

 

Solid 4/5 from this house


You almost had me going for a moment before I realised you were clearly trolling.

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1 hour ago, Fierce Poodle said:


You almost had me going for a moment before I realised you were clearly trolling.

For the record I’m not trolling.  We preferred it and just giving my opinion.  If anyone was on the fence about watching it, we really liked it

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Elvira Mistress Of The Dark (1988)

Was in the doldrums so rewatched this to cheer myself up, and it was the perfect film to raise a smile. It's full of the sort of lightly-naughty easy humour that may feel a bit lame to some but it's delivered in a way where everyone is in on the tone. It helps that Elvira is a great character, full of charm and time for the people in the small town who deserve it, and doesn't take any crap from the slimy guys and stuffier townsfolk. Not sure how this would go down with younger people who didn't know who Elvira was. To me though this was good fun with a likeable, strong female lead and a lot of recognisable character actors doing their bit.

 

3.5/5

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17 hours ago, AlanT said:

Dr Sleep

 

Me and the current MrsT watched this last night as noticed it was on Sky.  We both thought it was excellent.  I personally didnt think much of the shining, but while this is the pseudo sequel, we both though it was a far superior film.  Excellent cast, took its time to develop the story and while its a long film (2hrs+) would recommend.

 

Solid 4/5 from this house

 

You deserve each other 

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6 hours ago, Talvalin said:

Which one did you watch? The 1992 original (and the first 18 that I saw at the cinema whilst blatantly under age but nevermind that) or this year's version?

 

The new one. I can't remember much about the original, I'd have been 12 when I watched it.

I remember it being flawed, but quite visually striking. I remember the buzz around it at the time and thinking, well, this is a bit overrated, but good fun and pretty spooky.

 

I thought this was such a wasted opportunity. Heavy handed, muddled, and dull.

I wasn't sure at first, but when it got going, it got up to 3 and a half stars for me at one point, and then about half way through, it flatlined, and my god, that ending, straight down the shitter.

 

Could have been great.

 

I totally understand the intent, leaning more into the political angle, I think they were right to do that, but you have to be careful. When you push it that hard, it starts to feel like you're patronising the viewer at best, or like you're being exploitative, like you're digging up George Floyd to spice up your slasher flick, at worst.

Subtext works far better when it's kept under the surface. It's far more effective than repeatedly bonking the viewer over the head with your message.

 

Again, I understand the intent, and why you might feel in the current climate that urgency wins out and subtlety will have to take the day off, but we're not here to review a films intent out of 5, we're reviewing the quality of the film, or at least how much we enjoyed watching it, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the original, this one wasn't even half as good.

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Amadeus (1984)

 

I got round to it! I"m not averse to long films (I put down Lawrence of Arabia on a yearly basis), but for some reason I've put off watching this even though its been in my iTunes library for years. It's very good, if not quite the masterpiece I was expecting. I did watch the 3-hour Director's Cut, which may have been part of the issue. I felt it started to run out of steam towards the 2-hour mark, but it did pick up again in the final 30 minutes. It's way more lightly entertaining than I expected, very comical and energetic (at least in the first half). I felt it was less a biopic than a sort of tonal snapshot of a life, and to be honest Salieri was way more interesting than Mozart himself. I never got a feel for why Mozart's compositions were and are considered such works of genius, although this might have buried the movie in dry technicality. There is a scene towards the end where Salieri is helping Mozart pen the Requiem, and here there was a sense of Salieri peeking into the creative mind and being astounded by it, which I really enjoyed.

 

Performances are all great, though a little arch in some cases, but that's the style of the film. Obviously impressive sets and costuming, oh and the score is pretty good.

 

4/5

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Promised-Land-2-1140x600.jpg

 

The Promised Land

Ziemia obiecana | Andrzej Wajda – 1974

 

It starts as a blissful pastoral: three friends cycle down a country road, singing and laughing all the while. They are Maks (a German engineer), Moryc (a Jewish businessman) and Karol (a Polish nobleman), all merrily travelling to the ancestral home of the latter. Their high spirits are matched by their hosts’, and the scene of their arrival purls with overlapping voices, boisterous greetings, padding footfalls, slapped playing cards, mirthful exclamations and the barking of happy dogs – a democratic cacophony. Wajda’s camera pans towards, zooms in on and tracks alongside the approaching guests, visually integrating them into the existing company with a skill so refined as to be invisible: the men anarchically tumble from their bicycles, and in the next instant they’re essential elements of an elegant conversation piece arrangement. A world of leisure, ease and contentment immediately enchants the viewer.

 

But that’s only how it starts. The friends are going into business together – textile manufacturing, to be precise, and Karol’s boyhood home (the idyllic setting for the above) is to be sold to raise capital for the establishment of a factory in Lodz. With a crassness born from unspeakable power, the city crashes through with a tumorous wide-angle shot that presents a sandy wasteland sullenly occupied by proles, shacks and detritus. Steam whistles summon the horde towards giant chimneys – mechanization and montage have taken command, and a driving score links those swallowed by the factory gates with inserts documenting the morning devotions of pawnbrokers, industrialists and financiers. Psalm 91 in Polish; the Lord’s Prayer in German; the Shacharit in Hebrew – no overlaps, nor anything equitable as the incantatory voices of the mighty abrade the hurrying masses without counterpoint or interruption. Suddenly autocratic and imposing, the manner and expression of the film pay compliment to Lodz’s stark, brutalizing social hierarchy, inhospitable brickwork, and incessant machinery. It is the 1890s, and in this half-mad possession of the Russian Empire, choked with cotton and cash, basking in gore and fire, our trio will have their satanic mill, their promised land, come what may.

 

Grotesque contrasts and affecting disparities – such as those found between these two introductions – are to be counted amongst the great pleasures of this raging jackhammer of a picture. How the film utilises colour offers another great example of this tendency. Usually submerged in a cloudy soup of russets and blacks, bright primaries occasionally pierce through to assert the wretched unnaturalness of proceedings, whether in a minor key (a small trickle of blue dye polluting an otherwise fresh river) or with a full-throated scream: the gushing blood of a worker stains an entire batch of fabric, with the white material carrying the scarlet substance of the man throughout an enormous production line as the grisly herald of a maimed body.

 

Vivid and arresting, yet for all that's on display in the film, it is the intangibles and ambiguities of character that figure largest. Karol, simultaneously headstrong and acquiescent, is hailed as the greatest Lodzermensch, the one best suited to rise within the city’s milieu – the narrative shows how, bit by bit, whatever integrity and independence he might possess is mortgaged off in order for him to secure his pre-eminence, his ultimate reward being to gain vast power but without any discretion as to its application. (There is a fruitful comparison to be made with Michael Corleone in The Godfather, in that both characters enter the stage as ostensible modernisers, but leave it as guarantors of tradition. Failed rebels – or were they? – against their own breeding, who are instead compelled to meld new energies with old evils.) A roaring, lacerating epic of the first rank, The Promised Land is also a probing, astute study of behaviour and acculturation, thereby making it a splendid proof of Wajda’s brilliance as a political filmmaker – not only a warped system, but also its sickly sensibility.

 

5/5

 

You might enjoy this film if you liked: La Règle du jeu; Force of Evil; Senso; Room at the Top; The Bad Sleep Well; The Big City; Heaven’s Gate; There Will Be Blood; Parasite.

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On 21/09/2021 at 00:51, Vimster said:

Elvira Mistress Of The Dark (1988)

Was in the doldrums so rewatched this to cheer myself up, and it was the perfect film to raise a smile. It's full of the sort of lightly-naughty easy humour that may feel a bit lame to some but it's delivered in a way where everyone is in on the tone. It helps that Elvira is a great character, full of charm and time for the people in the small town who deserve it, and doesn't take any crap from the slimy guys and stuffier townsfolk. Not sure how this would go down with younger people who didn't know who Elvira was. To me though this was good fun with a likeable, strong female lead and a lot of recognisable character actors doing their bit.

 

3.5/5

 

Speaking of which:

 

https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2021/9/21/elvira-cassandra-peterson-comes-out-talks-19-year-relationship

 

Good for her.

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