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 Posted:   Aug 11, 2020 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

BillC = "Hitman redemption
Ron Perlman n the adorable Famke Janssen. Not bad, 7.4 out of 10"
Wow. Better rating than Charley Varrick!! You musta really enjoyed it!!

Nooo my rating for Varrick has always been 8.5.
It was your rating for Varrick that was ridiculously derisory for such a great, rarely-matched, understated thriller. big grin

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2020 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

MADHOUSE (1990) - 6/10

You walk a fine line when you make a comedy about nice people being put upon by boors. The risk is that the audience will come to resent not the boors, but the nice people, for allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. MADHOUSE walks right up to that line, but thankfully never crosses over.

The film finds nice couple "Mark and Jessie Bannister" (John Larroquette and Kirstie Alley) moving into their new, but not overly large, home. When their forwarded mail catches up with them, they find that Mark's wimpy cousin (John Diehl) and his overbearing wife (Jessica Lundy) are coming to visit for a few days, and are arriving today. Things later start to go awry when the pregnant Lundy slips and fails while leaving to go home. She is immediately placed into traction, from which she cannot be moved until her pregnancy is complete. There goes the Bannister's master bedroom. They move to the spare room.

During some enthusiastic sex-play, the Bannisters manage to burn down neighbor Robert Ginty's house. (Don't ask!) Naturally, they have to make room for him and his kids until the insurance money comes through. There goes the spare room, and the Bannisters move to the sofa bed. Then Jessie's neer-do-well sister (Alison La Placa) is thrown out of her house by her rich husband. Jessie, of course, has to help. There goes the sofa bed, and the Bannisters move to a tent in the back yard.

Meanwhile, at work, the increasingly frazzled couple are starting to screw up, with stockbroker Mark making errors in dealing with rich clients, and man-on-the-street TV news reporter Jessie asking local low-lifes what the going price is for a hit. And all this only scratches the surface of the crazy goings-on in this film, which also include Diehl leaving his pregnant wife to join a circus, a cat with literally nine lives, some truly obnoxious children, and a police drug raid on the house.

Just when it seems as if the film is going to go totally out of control, late in the third act, the Bannisters have finally had enough, and start to give their tormenters their comeuppance. But what keeps the film grounded throughout is the playing of Larroquette and Alley. The pair made this film right in the middle of their biggest successes--their runs on the television shows "Night Court" and "Cheers" respectively. They make for a bright, witty, beautiful couple, and the script has them being totally supportive of each other, never at each other's throats. That's essential for keeping audience sympathy with them, until they are able to regain control of their lives. You leave the film feeling good and not depressed. Audiences seemed to agree. The $8 million film made $21 million at the box office.

 Posted:   Aug 11, 2020 - 12:41 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Jason Bourne I tried to watch it a couple of years ago, but only lasted half an hour, well I noticed it was on TV last night & I recorded it & watched it tonight. I quite enjoyed it this time (I can't have been in the mood for it last time), There's usually a grizzled old CIA man unto no good, & this time it's Tommy Lee Jones, with a face that would frighten small children (you have to have lived a bit to get a face like that). As usual the chases go on too long & the shaky cam is a bit too shaky...& I didn't have a clue what was going on most of the time, but that's probably me, nearly all the time I don't have much of a clue what's going on most of the time these days.

 Posted:   Aug 12, 2020 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE DUEL (2016) - 7/10

This film got a limited theatrical release in the summer of 2016, although it's basically a made-for-cable or made-for-video production. The story finds Liam Hemsworth as "David Kingston," a Texas Ranger assigned to find out what happened to the niece of a Mexican general who disappeared near the Texas border town of Helena. The town is run by a charismatic preacher named "Abraham" (Woody Harrelson), who coincidentally killed Kingston's father in a knife duel 20 years earlier. Traveling along with Kingston is his wife "Marisol" (Alice Braga), for no other reason than she's tired of being left at home all the time while her husband does his Rangerly duties.

The film has its good and bad points. On the plus side, Hemsworth is in the fine western tradition of a hero that says little but takes decisive action when required. There are only a few action scenes in the film, but they are well directed and shot by Australian director Kieran Darcy-Smith. On the negative side, there are some big plot leaps that are under-motivated--e.g., Abraham appointing Kingston as town sheriff the day he arrives in Helena; Marisol falling under the sway of Abraham and his snake-worshiping cult. The town of Helena also looks less like a western town and more like a Southern plantation, perhaps not surprisingly because the film was shot in Mississippi.

Still, the good outweighs the bad in this production. So for western buffs at least, it's worth a look. I must admit, however, that the snake cult thing had me reaching for my remote, since I've passed on watching several video/cable westerns over the past few years because of their prevalence for bringing in occult themes. If it's done as a satire (BILLY THE KID vs. DRACULA) that's one thing, but as a serious genre mash-up, it's not one of which I am particularly fond, even going as far back as HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER.

 Posted:   Aug 13, 2020 - 11:50 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

GRACE IS GONE (2007) - 7/10

There is nothing fancy about this film or the story it tells. "Stanley Phillips" (John Cusack) met his wife Grace when they were both in the Army. An injury forced him out of the service, but she remained, out of a sense of duty and love of country. Now, she is serving in Iraq and he is home with their two young daughters, 12-year-old "Heidi" (Shélan O'Keefe) and 8-year-old "Dawn" (Gracie Bednarczyk). One day there is a knock at the door, and Stanley is face-to-face with an Army officer and a chaplain. Now he must tell the girls that their mother is gone.

But he can't bring himself to do it. First he decides to take them out for dinner. When a trip to Dave and Busters turns into a bust, he then proposes a real trip--a multi-day road trip to a distant amusement park. The girls are skeptical about missing school, but Stan assures them all will be well. They immediately strike out for their destination, buying clothes and other essentials along the way. During the trip, they stop to see Stan's brother "John" (Alessandro Nivola). The two are polar opposites, and after John finds out what has happened, Stan and the girls make a hasty exit. The rest of the film recounts a series of otherwise mundane incidents propelled by a ticking clock, the growing suspicions of Heidi that something is wrong, and Stan's (and our) heightening dread of the inevitable moment to come. When the moment does arrive, despite the fact that we have had much more preparation for it than the girls, it is as devastating to us as it is to them.

This was the second produced screenplay by James Strouse, and when Rob Reiner dropped out of directing the film (for unknown reasons), Strouse took on that job as well. His direction is as straight forward as the story. The film's emotion is heighten by a sensitive score, composed by, of all people, Clint Eastwood. Eastwood apparently saw an early cut of the film and offered to score it. This is the only film Eastwood has scored that he didn't also direct. The score was released by Milan.

It's not hard to understand why no one wanted to see this film. Despite the fine playing by the three principals (particularly Cusack), there is no enjoyment to be had from viewing such a film. Audiences knew what they would be signing up for, and few wanted to do it. The film grossed only $51,000 in the U.S., Fortunately for the filmmakers, in foreign countries, where perhaps the sting of the story was not quite so on point, audiences gave it another $1 million. I recommend that you give it 85 minutes.

 Posted:   Aug 15, 2020 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE DALTON GIRLS (1957) - 7/10

There are only a handful of 1950s westerns with women as the main protagonists, so this film gets some points on that score alone. When the last of the Dalton brothers are killed, two of their sisters, "Holly" (Merry Anders) and "Rose" (Lisa Davis) go to claim their bodies from the undertaker. When Holly is assaulted by the lecherous undertaker, she kills him with a shovel. Suspecting that no one will believe she acted in self-defense, due to the Dalton family reputation, Holly goes on the run, along with sister Rose.

Six years later they are wanted outlaws, having been involved in a string of robberies. They are joined by two younger sisters, "Columbine" (Penny Edwards) and "Marigold" (Sue George), who have been back East attending school. Together, the four sisters engage in a series of stage and bank robberies. Things get complicated after Columbine falls for a gambler, "Illinois Grey" (John Russell), whom she met during the commission of a stage holdup. The women are also being tracked by a detective (Ed Hinton) who was previously on the trail of their brothers.

The situations in this film aren't much different from any other "outlaws vs. the law" western, but the reversal of the sexes makes for some freshness in the telling. Although producers Aubrey Schenck and Howard W. Koch went on to work together on numerous additional films, THE DALTON GIRLS was the last picture made by the pair for Bel-Air Productions, Inc., their independent production company. Les Baxter provides a good guitar-based score for the film.

 Posted:   Aug 16, 2020 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Snow White & The Huntsman (Blu-ray) This film got a real critical bashing, but I think it works a treat. I was going to watch this & the sequel tonight, but I don't think I can take more that one movie an evening these days.

 Posted:   Aug 17, 2020 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

HEAD OVER HEELS (2001) - 6/10

"Amanda" (Monica Potter) has had no luck with men. After she catches the latest guy she is living with cheating on her, she moves out. Looking for some low-cost digs in Manhattan, she takes a room in a large modern apartment occupied by four models. These women aren't exactly Rhodes scholars, but they do know their way around men. So, when Amanda takes a shine to a young executive in the building next door, "Jim Winston" (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), whose apartment theirs conveniently overlooks, they go all out to help her win him over.

As it turns out, he is as interested in her as she is in him, and all seems to be going well. Then, in a "Rear Window" situation, Amanda observes Jim seemingly murder a young woman in his apartment. Soon, she and her roommates are breaking into Jim's apartment looking for evidence of the crime.

If it seems as if this mildly amusing romantic comedy has suddenly jumped the shark, the truth of what is going on is crazier still. It all leads to a fairly frantic, and none too convincing, third act. But, in all fairness, the benign romantic pleasantries that preceded it weren't going anywhere anyway.

This was the second directorial effort for Mark Waters, who would go on to direct better films like FREAKY FRIDAY (2003) and MEAN GIRLS (2004), and in 2009 co-produce one of the better romantic comedies of the decade, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. But you can pass on HEAD OVER HEELS and not miss anything vital.

 Posted:   Aug 18, 2020 - 2:03 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Southern Star (1969) ... 2/10

IMdb states that this was the 18th most popular movie at the UK box office in 1969 ... presumably it was a very lean year. There is so much wrong with this film that it's hard to know where to start.

I know - let's list the good points:

If your interests include viewing African wildlife then this has something to offer, although the differing sources do impact, so that it doesn't come across as a single wildlife film shoot.

Otherwise: well, some of the cast look nice ...

Story, direction, acting, cinematography and music score were okay at best and mostly very poor - awful. It's taken me several days to watch and that's only because I like George Segal (usually) and I wanted to hear the score by Georges Garvarentz. The actor played a dislikeable character and struggled to imbue any interest in him - he was the good guy only because everyone else was worse; and the score's simple melodic line becomes repetitive far too quickly to carry it through its numerous repeats (with little variation). Even Matt Monro's title song struggles.

Ursula Andress is good to look at but her acting is almost as bad as Orson Welles' whilst Ian Hendry has never been worse, that I can recall. Johnny Sekka has far too little to do other than run; the normally charismatic Harry Andrews looked completely out of place.

A weak mixture of comedy (at least the ostrich was fun to watch) with some serious violence, almost PC-free by today's standards. And if the film wasn't bad enough within itself, the version broadcast had been censored: yes, it was okay to view numerous killings - by rifle, knife, sawn-off shot guns, garrote et al - but we viewers had to be protected from seeing a topless female dancer and the rear view of Ms. Andress as she waded into the river - relevant naughty parts were specifically blurred! And when she called Segal's character a bad name it was wiped. Not to worry, at least I now know how to kill someone with a thin rope if I haven't got a gun or knife to hand. smile

 Posted:   Aug 18, 2020 - 6:27 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

I saw this mitch not long ago on talking pix i think. Yes it was poor. In 1974 on tv i probably wouldve thought it ok!

 Posted:   Aug 18, 2020 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Downtown Abbey
Things move surprisingly briskly, with about 10 storylines all getting five seconds each, being raised and resolved without every having really lived and no real stakes. A light watch. Nice music.

 Posted:   Aug 18, 2020 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)


Perhaps the best Buster Crabbe western I've seen to date, this B picture finds Crabbe as gunfighter "Kip Tanner," riding to Abilene at the request of his brother Gene, whom he hasn't seen in years. But he finds that the whole town is hostile to him, as they believe that his brother, now missing, has absconded with monies that belong to a number of small ranchers who consigned their cattle to Gene for sale.

Crabbe is in constant peril in this one: set up for assassination, framed for murder, and escaping from being lynched more than once. He's better here on his own than when saddled with a comic relief partner like he was in his "Billy Carson" westerns for PRC. This was Crabbe's last lead role in a western. He would make two more, in 1965, as a co-star to Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea.

 Posted:   Aug 19, 2020 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend
One of those interactive choose your own adventure things. It works better for a light comedy like this than it did for Bandersnatch in Black Mirror, but it still hampers enjoyment.

 Posted:   Aug 21, 2020 - 4:28 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Hey xeb.!!
Guess wot?

Ice station zebra 1968 7.5 out of 10
On uk tcm. Complete with intermission music n ent'racte in the middle.

"...I would say that the good Doctor Goodwin was after something before he died..."

 Posted:   Aug 21, 2020 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I thought I'd go through some of my Universal Legacy horror sets, starting with Frankenstein. So it was Frankenstein tonight. Wow, I think it's almost as effective as when it was first released (unlike the original Dracula), the set designs are amazing, as is Karloff as the creature, the way he stands, the way he moves, his face, & at 70 minutes it doesn't hang about (& the Blu-ray looks fantastic for a 1931 film). The Bride Of Frankenstein tomorrow night.

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2020 - 1:34 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

John mills, eric porter

Do love a 50s b/w war film. So well made. Having gone after the Bismarck, the turpitz and the graf spee recently, this time we were in a sub hunting the Brandenberg. Pursued them so far into the Baltic we ran out of fuel! But we stole some fuel off a danish freighter, was glad to get back to blighty, see the wife.

7.9 out of 10.

"...One comes in, another goes out. Just like running a ruddy bus service..." - (submarine c.o)

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2020 - 1:59 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Godfather (1972) ... 8/10

DVD, part of the trilogy release purchased in Dec 01. I know I'll get some grief for the low rating but this is a film which has taken time to grow on me.

Too young to see it when released, my father's description of the film (he liked it) didn't inspire me and it was only after seeing several clips at odd times that I finally thought it was time to watch it. By then, I'd seen a dreadful TV transmission of Part II which I'd struggled through and Part III (better quality) which I'd enjoyed and couldn't understand why it was so vilified.

So, this third viewing went well (my better-half watched most of it, too ... a first!) and hopefully I will move onto Part II before the DVD corrodes smile. So many good things about the film and its running time never seems too long. But I (we) found Marlon Brando's performance less than satisfactory: his characterisation, dialogue and make-up distract. In a smaller role, Richard Conte/Barziini is far more effective. Also, storywise I have trouble with the timeline of the final act: Michael is attending the baptism of his nephew ... is this meant to be the child Connie is carrying when her husband (Paulie?) attacks her, so setting Sonny up? Surely not. But are we meant to accept that Paulie was allowed to remain within the family after this wife-beating?

And then, of course, the ending's all too pat: Michael is occupied ... his lieutenants are murdering all and sundry ... suddenly all these Mafia Dons who have bodyguards are easy targets. Oh well, it's only a movie ... smile

Al Pacino is simply superb, ably supported by a great cast (Robert Duvall ... wonderful) with marvellous period setting.

I'd never taken to the music (my father bought a cheap cover version recording of the score on LP - he wouldn't spend more to buy the OST) and the Love theme ~ a.k.a. Speak Softly Love was played so often on Radio 2 that I took a dislike to it. Even the OST version on an early compilation vinyl LP didn't click with me, albeit the Waltz theme was welcome.

But a recording by Carlo Savina, the last track on the wonderful album of Nino Rota film themes/suites, slowly did its magic. I now love the score both in the film and on disc. I know there has been a call for the original score/soundtrack to be released (the OST is a re-recording, I think) but I don't think there is much extra music apart from a few variations of the main themes and some period music accompanying the early California/Hollywood ~ horse's head sequence.

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2020 - 3:30 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Mitch...there is no hope for you son!! big grin

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2020 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

8/10 for The Godfather; just edging out xebec's 7/10 for AVTAK.

 Posted:   Aug 22, 2020 - 6:22 AM   
 By:   Rick15   (Member)

Re-watched Infinity War for the first time after seeing it in the cinema so many years ago.

Rated it 8/10

Then watched the HISHE version of the multiple ways it could have ended......

HISHE ruined Infinity War for me

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