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 Posted:   Dec 3, 2021 - 3:27 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

The Prisoner (1955, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins) - 9/10

Good review ian. Succinct, to the point, not overly detailed but i can live with that.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2021 - 11:31 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE KEEPING ROOM (2015) – 7/10

Somewhere in the American South, as Sherman conducts his 1865 Carolinas Campaign, three women—“Augusta” (Brit Marling), her younger sister “Louise” (Hailee Steinfeld), and their black slave “Mad” (Muna Otaru)—are left to fend for themselves while all the men on the plantation are away. Two of Sherman’s scouts—“Moses” (Sam Worthington) and “Henry” (Kyle Soller)—happen upon the site and decide that they have been denied the pleasure of women for too long. The brutal men decide to take what they want. The women decide to fight rather than submit.

This film sets up a fairly simple dynamic between the men and women that is the least interesting part of the film. More interesting is the women’s’ relationships with each other, particularly that of the two white women with “Mad.” Augusta recognizes that she must help with the farm work if the trio are to survive, but Louise resists doing her share. These domestic tensions, however, ultimately fade into the background, as the approaching army changes their lives completely. Good acting by the whole cast, but the film seems longer than its 95 minutes. The film’s slow pace is echoed in an unconventional Southern-flavored score with plaintive, wordless vocals, composed by London musician Martin Phipps through his soundtrack project, Mearl. An interesting sidelight—the film was shot in Romania.


 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2021 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

The Prisoner (1955, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins) - 9/10

Good review ian. Succinct, to the point, not overly detailed but i can live with that.


I like to keep things brief... wink

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2021 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

CONFIDENCE (BIZALOM) (1980) – 7/10

The first of Hungarian director István Szabó’s films to be nominated for a Foreign Language Film Oscar led to the globally successful “great trilogy” which also included MEPHISTO (1981) and COLONEL REDL (1985). Featuring Péter Andorai and Ildikó Bánsági in the lead roles, CONFIDENCE is set near the end of the Second World War and offers viewers a Kafkaesque sketch of the love affair between two complete strangers who are thrown together and are in hiding by force of circumstance. “Kata” (Bánsági) is the wife of a member of the Hungarian Resistance who is on the run, and “János Biró (Andorai) is a member who is hiding out himself. For her own protection, Kata is given the identity of Biró’s wife, and the pair pretend to be refugees living in the spare room of an elderly couple.

In a fetid atmosphere of mistrust, all the while terrified of the Gestapo, the couple has to experience complete vulnerability whereby they are compelled to live together as husband and wife using forged papers. Kata finds it difficult to get used to the constant concealment and subterfuges. Although both are married to others, their initial mistrust gradually develops into a genuine attraction between the two, up until the end of the war when circumstances pull them apart.

Andorai’s role is a study in unreserved paranoia, while Bánsági has the more interesting character development, going from confusion to fear to frustration to love. While ostensibly telling a tale of World War II, Szabó could conceivably be describing 1980 Hungarian life under Communist rule, with people constantly in fear of being betrayed by their friends and neighbors.


 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2021 - 2:04 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Witches (1966) ... 3-/10

#7 in the box set, despite a good cast (with the exception of lead Joan Fontaine), a typically lovely English village setting and some nice cinematography (back projection driving scenes best overlooked) this has Failure written all over it from the awful studio-set opening (darkest Africa!) to the idiotic ritual sacrifice final act.

Many well-known English faces appear (Alec McCowen is excellent but under-used, Kay Walsh is far more watchable than the lead, until the dreadful finale, Leonard Rossiter provides great support in a straight role) but this is Joan Fontaine's film (she owned the screenplay rights) and she is awful ... totally miscast, she carries no conviction ... she appeared to base her character on some imaginary early 20th Century village teacher.

The script is risible with no link made between the opening events and the film's plot: did Alan Bax hire Gwen Mayfield because he knew of these events, in which case why? i.e. mystery is flouted but leads nowhere. Amusingly, the booklet notes state that Hammer had to push the BBFC to issue the film with an 'X' certificate as it had awarded an 'A' smile ... this despite a few suggestive scenes regarding (the under-age) Linda Rigg - Ingrid Boulting, who looked too old for the role.

One positive element was the music score by Richard Rodney Bennett - a surprise the budget could accommodate such a name - which was very evocative in the opening scenes, beautifully bucolic in the village setting and nicely eyrie. Only the chant music for the sacrifice is a let-down, tedious and uninspiring.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2021 - 8:01 AM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion 9.8/10
Damn! This film is amazing! I won't devellope but this type of movie has become so rare nowadays. Campion is one of the very best directors in the whole World IMHO. Her stories are always unique and her characters so richly written.
I'm not a fan of Cumberbatch in most of his movies but here he delivers an incredible performance. Dunst is simply stellar. In fact the whole cast is performing amazingly.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2021 - 8:01 AM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

Double post.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2021 - 8:31 AM   
 By:   DOGBELLE   (Member)

The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion 9.8/10
Damn! This film is amazing! I won't devellope but this type of movie has become so rare nowadays. Campion is one of the very best directors in the whole World IMHO. Her stories are always unique and her characters so richly written.
I'm not a fan of Cumberbatch in most of his movies but here he delivers an incredible performance. Dunst is simply stellar. In fact the whole cast is performing amazingly.



Not wild about the move. But I must agree that the acting was wonderful. My understanding is that it was filmed in
New Zealand. Just wonderful to look at. I must say that Cumberbatchs acting ,made hang around till the end.

My
Choice of movie called Old Henry. Nice tight Eastwood style movie. Stars Tim Blake Nelson
Another movie with great cinematic views.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2021 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

CIRCLE OF DECEIT (1981) – 7/10

"Georg Laschen" (Bruno Ganz), a German journalist, travels to the city of Beirut during the clashes between Christians and Palestinians to produce an essay about the situation for a West German newspaper. Together with his photographer “Hoffmann” (Jerzy Skolimowski), he meets some important people and discovers the everyday face of the war. After an affair with local woman “Ariane Nassar “ (Hanna Schygulla), Georg must deal with his home life, where his marriage to "Greta" (Gila von Weitershausen) is in a big crisis.

Volker Schlondorff directed this drama on location, which adroitly shows the disfunction, random violence, and social pathologies of a city torn apart by religious and political differences. Schlondorff also shows the Western press corps in the city as being alternately venial, appalled, and bemused at the actions of the citizens.

CIRCLE OF DECEIT won France’s César Award as Best Foreign Film. Maurice Jarre's score was released on a WEA LP in Europe, and re-issued on CD in 2013 by Disques CinéMusique.


 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Die Another Day (Lee Tamahori, 2002) 6/10

My inner ten year old rejoiced. Seriously, first time I ever heard of “James Bond” was when I was a kid and saw a trailer for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, which had a cool car (a Lotus back then) that could drive UNDERWATER! Whoa! How cool was THAT?
I mean, I was like 9 years old or so, and I was deeply impressed how suave and cool the lives of a secret spy could be.

Anyway, this is a throwback to that kind of “James Bond” movie, and it was refreshing to see a “classic” over the top “goofy” Roger Moore type of James Bond, now that the Daniel Craig era has ended. The Craig era is perhaps my personal favorite James Bond era, Craig’s Bond films were more “grounded in reality” (as far as that can be said about a James Bond film), they are gritty, dour and violent, and I think they’re great for it. Suddenly, the Bond films had a continuity, and there was a certain seriousness to the proceedings again. Yeah, I thought it worked great and made Bond interesting again.

But now that that’s done, it was nice to see another type of Bond movie from an earlier time, where Bond was just “fun”, if nothing else. And this movie is a lot of fun. Sure, it’s completely over the top, some of the stuff is SO over the top that you ask WTF? REALLY? I mean, Bond surfing with a makeshift waterkite on a huge CGI tidal wave or having an INVISIBLE Aston Martin? Get real! That’s close to AUSTIN POWERs stuff. Also, Bond may sport a hippy beard and haircut, but looks otherwise just fine and dandy, well toned, muscular and sporty after 14 months of North Korean torture imprisonment. I guess they had sport and workouts there as well.
But what the heck, Brosnan fits this type of Bond part well, so let’s just go with it. For anything that does not quite work, there is something that does, and Halle Berry coming out of the ocean like that goes a long way. Well done.

Nothing in this movie really makes sense, and everything is a throwback to the type of Bond movie Roger Moore made in the second half of the seventies, and that’s actually what is fun about the film. I just enjoyed it like a kid. Bond pretends to be an ornithologist (which is a fun inside joke), Halle Berry is just as gorgeous and cool as can be, the villain and his hench(wo)men are just the movie villains we love to hate, and the movie never pretends to be anything but a big budget action entertainment. Terrific settings, especially the ice palast is unforgettable. I was entertained.

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

French Connection II (1975) ... 3/10

My first viewing. Oh, this is poor ... Gene Hackman recreates his role as the real 'Popeye' Doyle in a fictional follow-up to the supposedly classic whilst mirroring his character on that of Harry Caul (The Conversation (1974)) ... i.e. he goes bonkers! smile

There are so many things wrong with this that it's easier to list what is good:
-it's set in Marseilles ... it may look dreadful but at least it's not New York
-Doyle's lack of respect for anyone/anything can now be attributed to the filmmakers
-Bernard Fresson is excellent as the long-suffering local cop who has to put-up with Doyle
-Don Ellis' score is accessible ... even if for the first half of the film it is totally wrong. Only from the dry-dock scene on does the score work ... the earlier, easy-listening mush is badly conceived
-the flooding of the dry-dock and the later chase scenes are well filmed, albeit plot-wise somewhat ridiculous.
-Popeye's recovery after being drugged (and script-wise: he being returned so as to call off the police man-hunt) is good ... for the first few minutes but this goes on for so long that it becomes tedious, boring and ... fast-foward

I didn't like the original ... this was not as good and I think the opening should have had a big notice: This is fictional ... none of this happened! ... rather than the small print in the end credits ... just in case. If they make Part III, I hope it will be about Popeye Doyle serving penal time (hard labour!) for his crimes smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 2:47 PM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Ah, that French comedy genius- Popeye D'Oyle.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Juggernaut (1936) 4/10

With Boris Karloff
Dr. Boris agrees to bump off a millionaire, by his bitch of a wife, in exchange for a wad of cash. He needs the cash to carry one his research. Things go wrong, people die. The end.
The story was.ok and the length brief. It was, however, a bit limp in the telling. Most.of the cast were ' la di dah, I say what - o ' types. Only Boris sounded ' normal' and he has a lisp. The music was fkn awful. It was almost non stop crap at that.

 
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