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 Posted:   Oct 20, 2023 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Beckham 9 out of 10

I saw this documentary on Netflix and loved it. I didn’t know a lot about him, nor did I realize how important soc..errr football was to England. Yeah, I could see he was a bit of a prima donna when he scored goals, but he was also an amazing football player in his day.

So he played for “Mannscum” as Bill would say. It looked like, in this documentary, that he didn’t want to leave MU.
So he got a red card in the World Cup and was demonized for a year in England. He was hung in effigy and booed for almost a year. The Argentinian he “supposedly” kicked, said he faked his injury and that Beckham should not have been given a red card.

He did rise again to become the Captain of the World Cup.

I now understand what “Bend It Like Beckham” means. He was a great corner kicker.

I liked the whole exchange of jerseys with players.

He certainly had many hair styles.

Anyway, I got to watch some amazing European football and learn a lot about the man.

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2023 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Eiger Sanction (1975) ... 3-/10

I understand many others have enjoyed the release of this film's score. I like the album which appears to emulate those great Henry Mancini releases of a decade before but not sufficiently to warrant the purchase of this expansion.

I did however push myself to watch the film again. I saw it on release, bought the novel (as was my practice in those days) - I didn't keep the paperback long enough to read a second time: it's no wonder the film story is utter tripe given the source material - and have watched TV broadcasts once or twice before.

Clint is watchable though I couldn't distinguish his character from Dirty Harry and there's some fabulous scenery aided by this BBC4 broadcast (excellent definition and colours). I enjoyed the dialogue where he explains to Jemima how she's been conned by Dragon and Pope ... much of the remaining script is risible.

As for the score, my reason to watch: certainly one of the film's best attributes but I didn't feel it added much to the album so I doubt I'll seek a copy of new release (I don't know if it's still available).

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2023 - 2:39 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Wheeler Dealers (1963) ... 5+/10

In the UK the film had the (awful) title: Separate Beds frown

I grew up loving films and this is one from my youth. No, it's not in the league of the best (of its kind) but it still provides lots of laughs and keeps you entertained for its 100+ minute running time with a wonderful cast.

I've always found James Garner a great lead and better in this role character than, say, Rock Hudson or Rod Taylor (strong competition) and whilst Lee Remick was never my favourite leading lady her strength in this battle of the sexes adds to the fun. Wonderful support from Phil Harris, Chill Wills and Charles Watts as the financial trio hanging onto Henry's every move ... indeed all of the cast (e.g. Vaughn Taylor as the owner of the widget stock - superb albeit very limited screen time).

Some great dialogue, lots of amusing (non-PC!) scenes: women in Wall Street?smile

A fun title song, unremarkable score by Frank De Vol; not much landscape but a lovely widescreen image.

Not a great film ... but great fun, nevertheless. My TCM DVDr recording was from 2007 ...

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2023 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Play Dirty (1969) ... 6/10

Enjoyable WWII drama which isn't quite The Dirty Dozen - there are only 8 - but modelled on that familiar idea: a bunch of mis-fits is given an impossible job made all the more difficult by tensions within the group.

Leads Michael Caine and Nigel Davenport are excellent and whilst the rest of the group are unknown (to me) the script allowed some character development. Harry Andrews and Nigel Green are perfect in their roles as the senior officers. I thought Davenport should have been given top billing as Caine's green behind the ears character never pulls through to show dominance, his one logistical success being ruined, this leading to the massacre of British regular army combatants.

I do wonder if the script was edited, cut short, since the last act is upon us without preamble (we're not shown how the group get from the desert to the port) and it's all over (a few explosions) before we know what's happening ... other than seeing Andrews and Green celebrating the British success in pushing Rommel's army back. Perhaps Caine's Capt. Douglas was seen to do a lot of derring-do but this ended up being cut.

There are many great desert travel scenes (despite being Almeria) and the few set pieces such as the aforementioned massacre are well handled. I just wish the last act had been more coherent ... this might have explained the final scene. I first saw the film as the second feature to The Graduate ... probably a re-run around 1970-1 (my mother hadn't wanted me to go but as I was a fan of MC ...) and may have seen some of it on a TV broadcast since. This was a good quality W/S print broadcast by Talking Pictures.

Mostly source music, what underscore there is by Michel Legrand works but is not memorable.

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2023 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Beckham 9 out of 10

So he played for “Mannscum” as Bill would say. It looked like, in this documentary, that he didn’t want to leave MU..

Er...thats "Mankscum" joanie
Otherwise known in football circles as the Evil empire.

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2023 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Alien: 5-5

I commented on this already. Fantastic film and largely holds up today.

Young Sherlock Holmes: 2-5

Ah the 80's! When family entertainment was dark, violent and not afraid of tragedy. In this case it really doesn't work for me. While I liked the actor playing Sherlock his character lacked charisma and was a bit of an ass. The villain lacked gravitas.

The direction was pretty weak. Most fight scenes looked like a bunch of fanboys running around on a stage floor half heartily swinging their weapons around. The specials effects, some iconic at the time don't hold up well today. The flying machine was terribly fake looking prop. When a victim gets burned to death by boiling liquid (gold?) Sherlock yells, "Stop, she's still alive!" but the victim was already presumably scolded to death. So what was the point of that line?

Spoilers: The death of Elisabeth was unearned and was to much of a downer for the type of film they tried to make. It was rather cruel when earlier in the film she was screaming, "I don't want to die!" when influenced by mind altering drugs. The villain surviving his fate was unbelievable and his reveal at the end was laughable.

Some of the sets, model work and matte paintings looked quite nice and its the only aspect of the film I really enjoyed. The score was lively in places.

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2023 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Freaks (1932)
4.5 / 5

Creepy and very entertaining Tod Browning film. Not as "exploitative" as you might think it would be. I watched the Criterion version.

 Posted:   Oct 24, 2023 - 12:23 AM   
 By:   agentMaestraX   (Member)

Cat Person (2023) 8-9/10

In a nutshell a razor- sharpe explotation in the horrors of dating! Margot, a college sophomore student goes on a date with the older Robert, she finds that IRL Robert doesn't live up to the Robert she has been flirting with over texts. Things eventually take a turn when after the initial date; bad choices etc envelope and then it begins, you know stalking, bad-mouthing etc. Police are called nothing to be done until...Well find out for yourself! A good example of a black comedy which was based upon a short story featured in The New Yorker. Had me gripped, competently directed which left me feeling does anybody want to endure this hassle of dating.

 Posted:   Oct 25, 2023 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Along Came a Spider (2001) ... 4/10 (with reservation)

My third, or fourth, viewing but the first time I managed to watch it through ... which is a shame because lead Morgan Freeman is excellent, constantly watchable; a great support cast, too, and the story which revolves around a kidnapped young girl is the stuff that keeps you watching.

Only it didn't on prior viewings. The trick, this time, was to watch in two parts, pre-dinner/drink ...i.e. it's a good film but has problems. Primarily the story is poor, asking us not only to suspend disbelief but also to accept that the bad guys would live a double life for 2 or more years awaiting an opportunity to carry out a crime which could have been done on day 2 ... or 3, not day 732 ...

And the young boy who can overcome the security systems at the Russian embassy ... using guidance provided by someone who has never been there ...

Add an awful opening CGI scene (we know where JB007's ice-flow paragliding scene originated ... yes, it's that poor) and the film faces major hurdles.

One of Jerry Goldsmith's last scores ... it does its job but is instantly forgettable. As is the film.

 Posted:   Oct 25, 2023 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

Watched the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes and am the second one right now and as much as I dislike him and most of all his other films, these two are entertaining. I hate modern incarnations (e.g. Sherlock), modern films and 'quaint" or "flashy" cinema but these two I cannot deny liking. Even Hans Zimmer provides a decent score after a long time.
If I see the DVDs in the store I'll buy them, provided the price is right.
A small miracle......... and it has to be Ritchie! Insert "Khaaaan" image here.


 Posted:   Oct 25, 2023 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

Double post, Insert another Kaaaahn image.


 Posted:   Oct 25, 2023 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Watch out for the mildly amusing Two Mules music clip in 2nd film.

 Posted:   Oct 25, 2023 - 3:58 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)


Every review of this concert film has to begin with the reviewer describing how big a fan they are (or are not) of Taylor Swift, so here goes. I own four of her ten albums, purchased primarily because of songs I first liked from radio exposure. On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, as of July 2023, Swift is the female singer with the most charted songs (212), most top-40 songs (119), most top-20 songs (73), most top-10 songs (42), and most number-one debuts (5). About 35 songs appear in the film, and I’d guess that all of the songs I liked were among those top-10s.

Like another concert film I saw recently, the Talking Heads’ STOP MAKING SENSE, THE ERAS TOUR is all concert, no nonsense (i.e., no interviews, backstage views, critics’ assessments, etc.). We jump from an aerial view of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles right into the first number, and the show proceeds without a pause for the next 2 hours and 49 minutes (a half hour shorter than the actual concert itself).

Designed as a tribute to Swift's discography across her 17-year career, the Eras Tour covers all styles of music from her 10 studio albums, ranging from country and pop to folk and alternative rock genres. The set list places a somewhat greater focus on albums Swift had not previously toured, which means her more recent material, with which I was less familiar. Fortunately, the 10 albums or “eras” (each identified on-screen for the audience) are not in chronological order. So, if you are mainly a fan of one phase of Swift’s career or another, you won’t be put off for long stretches of the film. There is generally a song you like better coming up soon.

The most amazing thing about the concert (and the film) is the sheer scale of the physical production. It's like a dozen Super Bowl half-time shows strung together. The concert ensemble includes 14 backup dancers and a live band of six instrumentalists, plus four female backing vocalists. Designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Zuhair Murad and Oscar de la Renta custom-made Swift's outfits for the tour to complement each album's aesthetic. The dances were choreographed by Mandy Moore (not the singer). This Mandy Moore is known for her Emmy-winning work on the television series “So You Think You Can Dance,” having appeared on the show every year since the third season, and “Dancing with the Stars.” She also choreographed the 2016 film LA LA LAND.

All of this takes place on three separate stages connected by a broad ramp projecting out into the audience: a main stage with a giant, curved widescreen behind it, a rhombic middle stage; and a rectangular stage that along with the ramp forms a T-shape at the middle of the stadium floor. The staging is equipped with "hyperactive" hydraulic platforms, with the main and middle stages having mobile blocks that rise from the center to form platforms of different shapes.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the tour is one of the most expensive and "technically ambitious" productions of the 21st century., featuring pyrotechnics, laser lights, smoke machines, fire cannons, indoor fireworks, PixMob LED bracelets, and image projection technology, such as projection mapping that creates stadium-size holograms.

Director Sam Wrench used all sorts of floating, flying, and stationary cameras to capture the show over three nights in L.A. The result is that while a person in the stadium with a fairly good seat (not in the third deck) is likely to have a view of the show that consistently looks like this:

The film-goer will see things from a myriad of angles.

The last photo shows how most people in the stadium will be viewing the show--by watching the large screen behind Swift (often at some oblique angle). Film-goers get to see the screen too, particularly when it is enhancing the show with videos setting the mood or otherwise doing something other than just enlarging what is on stage:

Unlike the first photo above, the audience in the film is mostly unseen, with just thousands of points of light (as shown in the last photo) from their LED bracelets.

Swift had the idea for a concert movie in 2022 but none of the major film distributors (Warner Bros, Disney, Sony, Universal, Paramount, etc.) showed any interest. However, feedback from her worldwide fan base on social media indicated a lot of interest from fans who had never seen her live. In a calculated gamble, Swift decided to distribute the film through her own company at her own expense directly to theaters. The gamble paid off quite quickly, as the film has proved to be a massive box office success around the world, grossing $179 million in just two 4-day weekends. (Swift only wants the film shown on Thursday-Sunday, so as to avoid sparsely attended weekday shows). The concert tour itself, after the foreign leg is concluded, is expected to gross $1 billion.

Reports from the heavily attended weekend shows have told of fans dancing in the aisles, singing at the top of their voices so as to drown out the film’s soundtrack, and, twirling flashlights all around. None of this took place at the 4 PM Thursday show that I caught, so if you want to avoid all that, I’d recommend a matinee on Thursday or Friday before the kids are out of school. My main complaint about the show is that it was hard to understand the lyrics of some of the songs I was unfamiliar with. This is not so much because of crowd noise, although there is plenty of that coming from the surround speakers of the theater, but because Swift consistently uses a hand-held or stand-held microphone, which often obscures her lip movements. Many singer-dancers now use headset mics, which offer a less obstructed view of the singer’s face.

Even if you are just a casual fan of some of Swift’s music—as I am—this film is worth seeing for the innovative, constantly stimulating production. When you compare this show to a 1980s concert film like STOP MAKING SENSE, it’s literally like something from a different era.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2023 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Attack from Space(1965)1/10

Starman is sent to Earth to protect against the evil sapphirians and their universal domination.

Absolutely piss poor. Not quite the worst I've seen but close. It's certainly the cheapest made, that I've seen in a long time. There's more string on display than there is on Compo's trousers. The effects have been nowhere near the word 'special', ever. Ed Wood would have been thinking he was David Lean. Starman was a bit of a prick, flapping his arms about and wafting his little bit of webbed( ness) under his arms. Lots of dummies thrown about and some pulled along on string. 1/2 point coz I watched it all and 1/2 for several pretty women. Tit bit for you star wars nuggets - the main space ship , of the villains was known as the death star! Eh, eh.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2023 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) ... 6+/10

One of my favourite Bernard Herrmann scores, I haven't seen the film for many years (and, if I recall, the last TV broadcast was very poor in picture, perhaps sound) so was happy to record and watch this lovely clear print (4:3 B&W) albeit the sound mix meant the music score overwhelmed some scenes ... or was this intentional?

I would like to give the film a higher rating but its all-too-fake attempt at being British (English) meant that London, California and Whitecliff-by-the-Sea, California looked too much as if they were located in ... California. I'd forgotten the story was set this side of the Atlantic and without the screen text and odd line of dialogue would have been none-the-wiser by the end credits!

Perhaps there was more of a problem than the geography: time appeared to be elastic - just what years were the later scenes - Anna's return from university and the finale - set given the opening was in 1900?; and the story failed to convince me that Captain Gregg was seeking to allow - encourage? - Lucy to find a new life; thus, apart from getting involved with Miles Fairley we see nothing of Lucy's life (time with her daughter takes very little screen time).

It's wonderfully romantic in a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking way ... it just doesn't quite hit the mark for me. I'm left thinking Lucy has wasted her life and I'm sure that's not what the script intended.

I still like the music!

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2023 - 11:50 PM   
 By:   agentMaestraX   (Member)

Five Nights at Freddys (2023) - 8/10

Who dares stay late? Come on it'll be a blast, fun and disturbing....!
You'll have the time of your life - not!

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2023 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Young Sherlock Holms (1985). I've never seen it, a very pleasant film, but I know I won't watch it again.

The Equalizer 3 (2023)

The usual action movie stuff. I think it's my favourite of the three, Denzal Washington takes on the mafia in Sicily...& guess who wins. I liked it, very stylish & some very nasty baddies.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2023 - 2:46 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Flightplan (2005) ... 3/10

Does the story ~ logic ~ matter to you? I have a good friend who, when I question how he likes a film replies: it entertained me, that's what matters.

This is a film of two halves: we're directed to believe that Jodie Foster/Kyle Pratt is mentally disturbed due to the death of her husband (and perhaps her daughter, too) ... and if this is true then we - the audience - have been conned as we see scenes which can only have been through her eyes ...

... or we have an action thriller in which the abduction of her 6yr old child is a key element ...

... on a transatlantic airliner.

Ludicrous. I wanted to be entertained and Jodie Foster was very compelling. Nice support from Sean Bean in a minor role; a few side characters (Arabian terrorists ... oh no!)

My second viewing (a DVDr of a satellite broadcast in Dec 2007), I'd forgotten most of it (happily).

James Horner's score is mostly subdued but the long playout is worth staying for.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2023 - 3:25 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

I was unimpressed with the first one, & thought two & three were awful, but I quite like this one. It's not directed by Gore Verbinski, so we don't have him winding out most of the colour (he seems to really hate colour), I think director Rob Marshall does a great job, & it really looks lush & rich. The deathless couple Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley aren't in it, which improves it no end. Ian McShane is great as Blackbeard & the story goes forward at a great pace (after a bit of chasing around in London).

 Posted:   Oct 30, 2023 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

Flightplan (2005) ... 3/10

Does the story ~ logic ~ matter to you? I have a good friend who, when I question how he likes a film replies: it entertained me, that's what matters.

The movie was very well directed and produced, and I found it compelling up until the truth started to be revealed. SPOILER - but when you realize that the "plan" executed by the bad guys was not physically possible, it's stupidity becomes offensive. They're trying to make Foster look crazy by discrediting her claim that she got on the plane with her daughter. How could they possibly expect to have a kid come on the plane, sit down, get drugged and pulled from her chair and moved, all in a cabin full of people, and no one ever sees her? If only one passenger stood up and said "Hey, I saw a kid sitting there!", the plan falls apart.

Their reason to do it was that they wanted to steal a McGuffin, then parachute out of the plane and blow it up, and Foster would be blamed because she had gone crazy in public. You'd think it would be easier to just break into her house and forge a note saying "I'm going to blow up the plane, yes I am", and it's all taken care of.

Jodie Foster was a producer, and she's a member of Mensa.

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