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 Posted:   Aug 31, 2020 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Im just watching this.
Never seen before.
Wont read your review yet wink

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2020 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE MIDNIGHT MAN (1974) - 8/10

Nearly three decades after his film debut, into the 1970s, Burt Lancaster was still making good films. Along with 1971's LAWMAN and VALDEZ IS COMING, I'd rank 1974's THE MIDNIGHT MAN up there. Lancaster plays ex-cop and ex-con "Jim Slade," who takes a job as a night watchman at a college in a small Southern town called Jordon. When some cassette tapes are stolen from the classroom of psychology professor "Dr. Pritchett" (Robert Quarry), and a distraught coed who had made one of the tapes is found murdered, Slade ignores the warning of "Sheriff Jack Casey" (Harris Yulin) and starts investigating on his own.

Soon, Slade is up to his eyeballs in a blackmail scheme involving the dead girl's father, "Senator Clayborne" (Morgan Woodward) and three low-lifes who have been conducting a series of robberies all over town. But he has some support from friend and campus security chief "Quartz Willinger" (Cameron Mitchell) and his parole officer "Linda Thorpe" (Susan Clark), with whom he is soon romantically involved.

Lancaster is good in a low-key, but laconic role. (When the ex-cop is queried as to how he ended up in prison, he answers, "I shot a man." "In the line of duty?," he's asked. "In my wife's bed," comes the response.) Lancaster co-wrote the screenplay for this film (his only film writing credit) and also co-produced and co-directed the picture, with Roland Kibbee. In deference to the changing mores of the time, the R-rated film is not short on action and violence.

The rest of the cast--which also includes, Ed Lauter, Catherine Bach, and Lancaster's old pal Nick Cravat--give good support. The main problem with the slightly overlong film is that the convoluted mystery is pretty dense. And even when it all seems wrapped up, there are still two more denouements to go before everything is truly finished. Still, if you are a Burt Lancaster fan, this film, which has been out of circulation for a long time before it received a Blu-ray release last year, is worth catching. Dave Grusin provides a sparse but effective score. The picture, budgeted at $2.5 million, was not a financial success, grossing only $1.8 million at the box office.

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2020 - 11:28 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

I loved Midnight man. Nice theme too.
Its a rarely-screened movie in uk. frown

 
 Posted:   Sep 2, 2020 - 5:55 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

A Few Good Men (1992) ... 8/10

Multiple viewings have not diminished my enjoyment of this film. A did own the DVD which I gave to a neighbour a few years ago but last evening, a TV broadcast caught me (just to see the start, you understand ...) and so, this morning I'm bleary-eyed after another late night. And it wasn't even in widescreen!!!

A great cast, an enjoyable military courtroom drama ... I can recite a lot of the dialogue. It may not be a great film when compared with others but in that it keeps my attention throughout even after four or five viewings means I rate it highly.

Marc Shaiman's score is not one I've ever wanted to own ... it works in the film and there's some nice melodic work accompanying Tom Cruise/Kaffee in contemplative mood.

We watch a lot of the long-running TV series N.C.I.S. and this story is almost a follow-on ... what happens to those marines who go off-piste ... the few, that is, that Gibbs and his team don't kill smile
Mitch


Oh I think it IS great film. It's sharp, snappy and well executed and acted. It's amazing how much tension is there by one hanging plot thread...how to get a confession out of a well respected and powerful marine colonel.

I'm like you in that I can recite mulitple lines of dialogue and if I run across it while playing on tv, which it has been A LOT over the summer on BBC America. I will inevitably get sucked into it. My only complaint is Shaiman's score. It sounds so...I don't know, amateurish even corny at times. But the dialogue is amazing in the film and interplayl between characters is awesome. Love this movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 2, 2020 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

LUCE (2019) - 7/10

"Luce Edgar" (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is every parent's dream--a top student at his high school, a track athlete, and a seemingly well-adjusted teen. Luce is also black, and adopted. His white parents, "Amy and Peter Edgar" (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth), rescued him from the African nation of Eritrea, where the pre-teen was a child soldier. Many years of therapy and counseling have gotten Luce to where he is today.

Then one day, Luce's history teacher, "Harriet Wilson" (Octavia Spencer), calls Amy and Peter in to discuss an essay Luce has written. In it, he describes how he would go about killing the people who he believes are oppressing him. The assignment, however, was for the students to write in the voice of someone other than themselves, and Luce had chosen a black African militant. Amy is unconcerned about the essay, but Peter is not so sanguine, and he worries that Luce may be reverting back to his childhood war experiences. Meanwhile, Harriet Wilson begins to perceive that Luce is making veiled threats against her, all of which Luce denies. This culminates in Wilson's house being mysteriously vandalized.

The film LUCE takes on several guises. It is a social problem film, addressing the assimilation of people from other cultures and the raising of black children by white parents. It is also a psychological thriller, with the increasingly harried and and frustrated Wilson being seemingly gas-lighted by Luce--or someone. And it's a domestic drama, as Amy comes to realize that Peter's idea of a family had never really been to be a social activist and adopt a troubled child from half-way around the world. He had just wanted to have his own children.

All of this is well-played by the talented cast. And for better or worse, few of the issues are resolved by film's end. Nigerian-born director and co-writer Julius Onah has produced a great film for serious discussion afterwards, but not so much for cathartic entertainment.

Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury have provided a unique-sounding electronic and pipe organ-based score, some of which was recorded at the Church of St Mary Redcliffe, in Bristol, England. It was released by Lakeshore Records on LP and as a download. The film had only a limited release, during which it grossed $2 million.

 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2020 - 4:13 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



September (1987) 7.5/10

Everyone drinks huge amounts of alcoholic beverages from large glasses as they simmer in their own personal misery.

I like the typical Allenesque use of characters name dropping the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Art Tatum, and Ben Webster--how else will the moronic GenXers and camera-cranked-aging Boomers learn culture? Tatum and Webster’s music is played on a phonograph and Art Tatum is discussed during Dianne Wiest's reminiscence about the French guy she was in love with during her first trip to Paris.

There are also numerous pieces of framed art and art exhibition posters hanging on the walls.

Peter (Sam Waterston) is the film’s weak link. He starts nearly every scene in which he appears by shoving his hands in his pockets. His character is dull, even when he references jazz and the McCarthy era.

Howard (Denholm Elliott) isn’t given much to do, but he brilliantly conveys world-weary sadness. Howard does show some Ian Holm-like fire when he insults Peter about the latter’s book. When I first saw this film decades ago, I kept "waiting" for Denholm to once again say, "It's like nothing you've ever gone after before."

Stephanie’s (Dianne Wiest) dialogue to the suicidally-depressed Lane (Mia Farrow) strikes a balance between "I have wisdom" and "nobody knows anything":

“Tomorrow will come, and you’ll find some distractions. You’ll get rid of this place, you’ll move to the city, you’ll work, you’ll fall in love, and maybe it’ll work out and maybe it won’t, but you’ll find a million petty things to keep you going. Distractions to keep you from focusing on the truth. I don’t know what the truth is, and neither do you.”

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2020 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Tarzan's peril 7/10 Lex Barker ( happy mum and she thinks the chimp is hilarious). Like the previous two easy on the brain and quite enjoyable in a Saturday afternoon kind of way. Curiously a different actress plays Jane in Lex's outings! Music ok by Michelet. And again it's not wall to wall like other films of the period, which is nice.
Two more to go.

Also Get Mean 8/10 ( coz it's crackers) with Tony Anthony. After Japan this time Tony goes to Spain. Gets mixed up mixed up with Moors and Barbarians ( or is that because they don't act nice!). Decently filmed, nice scenery. Music by Bixio, Frizzi,Tempera is ok, not as good as the previous outings( Ghiglia 1 and Cipriani 2) but I don't rare them as highly, anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2020 - 9:44 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Recently I revisited two classic movies.

Papillon: (the original) 10 out of 10

On The Waterfront: 9 out of 10

I am stunned that Papillon was nominated for only ONE Oscar and that was for Goldsmith’s fine film score. I can’t believe that Steve McQueen wasn’t nominated. He was outstanding in this role. I was hooked through the whole movie.

On The Waterfront won 8 Oscars, and I think they were deserved, especially Brando and Eva Marie Saint’s Oscars and for the black and white cinematography. At times it is almost overly dramatic, but it reflects the times. Three other actors were nominated for best supporting actor, and they were Karl Malden, L. J. Cobb, and Rod Steiger. During this revisiting, I especially paid attention to their superb performances.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2020 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

XEBEC:

PRESUMED INNOCENT is one of my favorite movies which I watch about twice a year-------but I still don't understand the ending as to why the Bonnie Bedalia character tried to frame her husband and he would wind up innocent---or would he?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2020 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015) – 7/10

This biopic focuses on the rap group N.W.A. (i.e., Niggaz Wit Attitudes), which emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood. The original five-man group is fronted by lead rapper Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), with most of the raps written by Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) to beats laid down by Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins).

While the subject matter is current, the film follows the familiar patterns of performer biopics since the genre was created. When the group of friends cuts a demo record that gets some radio airplay, white agent Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) takes the group on and turns them into a nationwide phenomenon. Of course, that’s when the problems begin. Jealousy rears its ugly head when Cube and Dre get the sense that Eazy is getting more attention from Heller than they are. And they aren’t wrong. Eazy has the best financial deal of the group, several of whom don’t even have signed contracts. And drugs play a part as well, as Eazy acquires a cocaine habit. Another promotor, Suge Knight of Death Row Records (R. Marcus Taylor), fans the flames of dissention, and soon Cube and Dre have left the group to work with Knight. But eventually it becomes clear that Knight is more interested in the trappings of fame, money, and power than in the music, and Cube and Dre leave Knight and reconstitute the original group.

All of this inside baseball is overlaid by the experiences that the group has outside of the studio, which seem to focus almost solely on the police—racist cops who hassle the group members in L.A. and cops that attempt to shut down their performances on the road. These run-ins lead to the creation of N.W.A.’s most controversial rap, “F**k the Police,” which receives widespread denunciations from certain media and authority figures, and makes their confrontations with the police that much more intense.

And that’s pretty much it. We don’t learn much about the inner feelings of the group members or of how they deal with anyone other than themselves, their promoters, and the police. No other friends, no family, no love interests, nothing. If there was anything other than the police that informed their music—poverty, gangs, politics, relationships, other musicians—we don’t hear about it. And the film makes no attempt to place N.W.A. in context, as to where they place in the history of hip hop. So, this is a decent, but rather limited view of one group of performers. If nothing else, it serves to introduce them to someone like me, who is not well-versed in the milieu.

The film was a hit, scoring the biggest opening ever for a musical biopic with a $56.1 million opening, beating out WALK THE LINE (2005). It eventually placed in the top 20 films of 2015, with a $161 million domestic gross.

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2020 - 3:00 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

From 04 Feb 19:
Jason Bourne (2016) 4/10 ... after the awful The Bourne Legacy (2012) ... which I tried to watch a second time but couldn't stay awake ... I had hoped that this latest (last?) Bourne thriller would be good. Given the script couldn't even give the bad guy (the Asset) a name indicates how poor the characterisations are. In the car chase which destroys Las Vegas I wished I was watching Con Air (1997) which was more fun. Again, I may watch this one a second time, contrary to my self-imposed rating scheme, but it's certainly stopped me buying the 5 film BluRay box-set. Score consisted of the same beat played endlessly ...

I ought to follow my own guidance and not waste my time watching films I didn't enjoy ... but 19 months on we decided to give this another go ... mistake: rating now marked as 3/10

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   Adventures of Jarre Jarre   (Member)

The Hunt - 6/10

Poses as a political polemic loaded with dialogue that can only be described as divisive bingo, then transforms into a Die Hard sequel with a sitcomy climax, all while embracing its own goofiness along the way. This movie is not interested in making friends.

Bill & Ted Face the Music - 9/10

A non-non-non-non hilarious odyssey through time and music that, while not as bizarrely gonzo as the previous entries, still manages to convey a sensically-wrought, humane message that will enrage only the literal-minded. The convolution of cinematic time travel is given its overdue comeuppance, a large section of the b-plot threatens to amount to nothing yet ties to the theme and is appreciated nonetheless, and a certain existential, codependent foil steals the show.

Bloodshot - 7/10

An anemic-minded mindbender with gore and slo-mo dazzle to spare, gleefully poking holes in the revenge-fantasy trope. Surprisingly, the villains in this Vin vehicle are easily distinguisable and a joy to watch.

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 1:34 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) ... 5+/10

I rarely watch anything from this decade as those I've tried are just too stilted for my taste ... strange given I read novels from that era. A few examples are those with stars I like, such as Gary Cooper, James Stewart and Cary Grant. But in this case it was the music which had me watching.

I've recently purchased the Chandos release: The Film Music of Mischa Spoliansky - a composer whose name I've known without knowing his works - and this includes a short suite of three cues which, from watching, represent the score very well, albeit are not as brash or dominating (if somewhat distorted) in the film.

The film is described as a comedy but it carries serious undertones, very much pushing the messages that you can't allow the working classes to control life and that people need to work to be happy. There are some amusing moments and, given the limitations of that time, it is well-made. But it is very dialogue heavy and despite running less that 90 minutes it seems longer.

I don't know the lead actor, Roland Young, but found him engaging (oft described as young man despite being late 40's (and looking 10 years older!)) and it was amusing seeing several actors, who I do know, in their much younger days. The special effects are clever (policeman transported to San Francisco, converting the country mansion into a palace ... and bringing in hoards of extras) and the music score is appropriate and effective.

Based on a short story by H.G. Wells (who also jointly authored the screenplay) it tempts me to seek out the work which rarely happens these days. Given the lead character's attempts to stop all wars and have the leaders work together to make people happy George McWhirter Fotheringay hasn't a hope ... but 85 years on maybe it's time for him to make a re-appearance.
Mitch

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 1:58 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Lust for a Vampire (1971) ... 2+/10

I know I've seen this before, maybe more than once, but I recalled very little and that's because it is so uninspiring, tedious almost ... and forgettable. Yes, it has an array of very attractive young ladies headed by Suzanna Leigh and Yutte Stensgaard, but a lack of strong characters means there's nothing to involve the audience.

Lead Michael Johnson has little charisma, not helped by a role which requires his character, a temporary teacher, to lust after one of his pupils ... 50 years on, can you imagine such a script getting the green-light? Ralph Bates is creepy, too, but has little screen time; it's a shame Suzanna Leigh's character was not given more to do. Other known faces appear and disappear quickly whilst Mike Raven (perfect name for the role!) plays the Christopher Lee role ... minus the acting talent.

But what was the story? Unless I missed it I don't think we're told why Carmilla Karnstein, now recreated as Mircalla, has been enrolled in this young ladies' school. Her "aunt" (Barbara Jefford) appears to be in charge of her but to what end ... and why does the Count appear on the scene, other than to pose as a doctor?

I appreciated the high quality image, vastly improved over many films from that era, and the colours were bright ... albeit the clarity did reveal the budget limitations. The film score by Harry Robinson/Robertson and Philip Martell was very good.
Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 2:07 AM   
 By:   Moonlit   (Member)

XEBEC:

PRESUMED INNOCENT is one of my favorite movies which I watch about twice a year-------but I still don't understand the ending as to why the Bonnie Bedalia character tried to frame her husband and he would wind up innocent---or would he?


Didn't he cheat on her or something?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Surprise Package 5/10 with Yul Brynner. Old baldy in a light comedy role was ok. A change seeing Yul in a comedy. Some familiar faces such as Eric Pohlman as the police chief. Also Warren Clarke (Alf Garnett) as the Greek lacky, probably the best part in the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2020 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Zero Dark Thirty I bought the Blu-ray s/h a few years ago & forgot I had it. Anyway, great movie, & the storming of the compound housing Osama Bin Larden is a classic sequence.

 
 Posted:   Sep 7, 2020 - 8:33 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Mulan (live action)- 2.5-5

The film should really be called Meh-lan. Here we have a soulless, emotionless, non involving two hour snore-fest of a movie. The protagonist has no personality, shows little emotion, was born with super abilities and essentially a block of wood.

Mulan born with the Chee, is like The Force, only you don’t have to learn how to develop or control your skills. It simply gives you super powers. Super acrobatics, super swordplay, super archery skills. You name it.

The film follows the general path of the animated version and classic story. Mulan pretends to be a guy so she can join the army and fight in place of her father.

For some unexplained reason when she joins the army and trains with the other men she decides to suppress her skills. So instead of excelling she fumbles along with the other men. This makes no sense since men can have the Chee in them too. If you wanna show your abilities as someone with endurance, strength and skill why are you hiding this when your country needs you the most? Only when she’s forced into a corner does she let her Chee out.

In the animated film her true identity was discovered by accident after she was injured and her wounds needed to be mended to. Here she just decides to shed her secret and return to the camp as a woman knowing the punishment is dishonor, banishment and perhaps death by beheading.

Outcast Mulan learns of the enemies plans to kidnap and kill the emperor. She returns to warn her people. For some reason her superiors believe her and even let her lead the way. Now liberated to use her full Chee potential she quickly dispatches the enemy and main villain. There's no story arc. Our protagonist was born perfect, she only had to liberate herself into being the person she is.

She’s so liberated she doesn’t even need a man in her life who clearly shows interest in her. Ironically at the end of the film her sister ends up being super excited about her forced marriage because the guy she met seemed cute! So I guess society conformity and forced marriage is okay as long as a woman is happy with the mans outer appearance. WTF?

The film has no heart or drive. No drama, no tension and no excitement. It’s boring. The battle scenes are very short, badly choreographed marred but quick cuts and blurry action sequences. The score is as soulless and dull as the film itself.

Its not the worse film in the world nor is Mulan the most annoying Mary Sue in resent history. You have to have a personality, good or bad to hold that mantle.

I really don’t know what in hell they spend $200 million on! The only redeeming quality in the film are the costumes, set pieces, villages, towns and landscapes. All very beautiful and interesting locations.

I didn’t hate it, there just wasn't enough there to pull a reaction out of me. It was just “Meh”!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2020 - 10:39 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

The Wrong Box (1966)
7.5/10

Rather enjoyable comedy starring Dudley Moore, Peter Cooke and Michael Caine and Ralph Richardson. Very daft humour. With lots off gags. Totally it reminded me of Without A Clue. Directed by Bryan Forbes.

Two elderly surviving brothers of a tontine have nephews scrapping for the cash.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2020 - 10:53 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH (2002) – 6/10

Eddie Murphy is not the main reason for viewing this sci-fi comedy-adventure. Instead, it’s the interesting production designs of Bill Brzeski, on which tens of millions were lavished. As you might expect, the look is less like STAR WARS and more like SPACEBALLS. The plot, about Moon-based nightclub owner Murphy resisting offers by space gangsters to buy him out, is only there to provide a rationale for chase scenes across the Moon’s surface, laser-gun battles, and sights like the giant Moon Beach Casino. The film has some good imagery.

What little humor crops up stems from ancillary characters like “Bruno,” a cyborg sidekick played by Randy Quaid, and John Cleese as a hologrammed chauffeur. The $100 million production sat on the shelf for a while, got scathing reviews when it was released, and earned only $7 million at the worldwide box office. Director Ron Underwood’s film is not terrible, but Eddie Murphy is kind of bland in it, and that carries over to the film as a whole.

 
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