What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
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Markgway
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Aug 2019, 00:29

Pump Up the Volume (1990) ***
Teenage nerd adopts shock jock radio personality to expose high school hypocrisy.
Imperfect, to be sure, but ballsy, potent, and relevant still.
Made when Christian Slater was the coolest new talent on the block.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 16 Aug 2019, 16:42

The Lion King (2019): 4/5

Visually stunning CGI recreation of the original (the opening sequence is incredible), but that's just it in a way, it's beautiful to look at but doesn't add anything to the story even though the cast are so good (James Earl Jones is back as Mufasa) and the memorable music is all there. That said, perhaps some scenes seem more intense in this version? And it's difficult not to watch with nostalgic, misty eyes.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Aug 2019, 14:58

Doctor Strange (2016) **½
Follows the Marvel template and adheres to its universe rules, which may be a good thing or bad depending on your point of view.
If you like large scale visual effects, and have a tolerance for pretentious mumbo-jumbo, there's plenty of imagination and ideas on display.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Aug 2019, 15:24

Batman (1989) **

The first 35 minutes are superb... smart and stylish with a wonderful Gothic aesthetic and menacing air. And then something horrible happens. The Joker appears and with that it seems as though all of the talented people who made the opening act were replaced by muddled incompetents. The early sharp wit is lost, replaced by silliness and camp that would shame Adam West (The Joker's not at all scary, he's a preening buffoon). Characterisation goes bananas, changing from scene to scene (Bruce Wayne - as opposed to Batman - comes off really badly in this regard). The plot makes no sense whatsoever (if Jack Napier was a well known crime figure, how come it took Bruce this long to realise it was he who murdered his parents?). The Prince songs shoehorned onto the soundtrack are a travesty. I've always had reservations about Batman, but can't remember the last time I was this disappointed in a revisit. I need to lie down.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 20 Aug 2019, 07:21

I love it for shameless nostalgic reasons, but yeah, it's a mess.

On the hand, I prefer Jack Nicholson as the Joker then as Jack Napier. I feel if we are to see The Joker pre-transformation, he should be a nondescript loser ala The Killing Joke. As the film is, there is no real transformation.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 20 Aug 2019, 07:31

And one of my all time fave movie scenes is where the Joker nonsensically survives a full-on assult from the Batwing and proceeds to blow it up with a ludicrously long pistol!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 20 Aug 2019, 14:15

I feel the polar opposite.

I really like Nicholson's Jack, loathe his Joker. :D

Even though I don't care for The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger was a much better Joker.

Don't get me started on the pistol thing! Yeesh!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 20 Aug 2019, 16:32

Toy Story 4 (2019): 4.5/5

Though this is an excellent third sequel and much better than I thought it would be, I think that should be the end now

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 20 Aug 2019, 19:11

Markgway wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 14:15
I feel the polar opposite.

I really like Nicholson's Jack, loathe his Joker. :D

Even though I don't care for The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger was a much better Joker.

Don't get me started on the pistol thing! Yeesh!
I feel Nicholson suits the 1940s comic book Joker very well, as did Ceasar Romero (who could be surprisingly sinister). Ledger's not playing the comic book Joker, but what he does is indeed very effective.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 22 Aug 2019, 14:46

2 Days in the Valley (1996) ***
Probably the best of the snappy crime thrillers that came in the wake of Pulp Fiction.

Downtown (1989) **
Strictly formula buddy-cop movie patterned on Lethal Weapon, but not in that league.
Joey Pants' psycho villain does get a great demise in a woodchipper, however.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Aug 2019, 15:45

Chato's Land (USA, 1972) [DVD] - 3/5
A group of white men try to hunt down Apache Charles Bronson who killed a racist pig in a pub, only to find the roles reversed in the wilderness. A pleasingly tough chase / revenge film, but there's almost zero character depth to Bronson's character. The miscellaneous bunch chasing him (including Jack Palance, whose character is not completely void of humanity) is actually more interesting. I viewed the uncut Japanese DVD; the PG rated US version is slightly censored in two scenes for violence and nudity.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 73 (1/2)

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (USA, 2006) [VoD] – 2/5
An American guy moves in with his American father, falls in love with an Australian girl, and makes friends with a Korean. What country was this film set in again? A nonsensical Hollywood foreign vacation only utilizes Japan as a superficial visual backdrop; the script could've been filmed in any country with minor modifications. Sonny Chiba shows up in three scenes as a yakuza boss, and beats everyone else with his... Japanese language skills! In a typically ignorant move, the film is cast almost exclusively with Americans and people of random Asian descent, including the Japanese villain Drifting King who really struggles with his Japanese dialogue! And who the hell were those Japanese bit characters who help this white twat hero challenge a yakuza-backed gangster? "White boy fantasy" as Spike Lee would say. Also, Lucas Black makes Paul Walker and Vin Diesel look like character actors in comparison. And in 2019, you can't help but notice the film opens AND closes with a race where a woman in the main prize! All that being said, it's still watchable teen garbage, somehow. The mix of stupidity and action with ok tech credits is to thank. Also, keep your eyes open for future martial arts star Mitsuki Koga as yakuza henchman.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 24 Aug 2019, 00:21

Judge Dredd (1995) **½
Flawed adaptation of cult comic doesn't live up to its satirical potential, but has good production design, costumes, and visuals. Works better as a standard Stallone action vehicle and on that level it entertains.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 24 Aug 2019, 13:30

Tremors (1989) **½
Not bad update of B-movie premise, suspenseful at times.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Aug 2019, 02:04

Trainspotting (1996, UK) Criterion Channel 5/5
Maybe the definitive ‘heroin’ movie, Danny Boyle does an amazing job of bringing to life Irvine Welsh’s book. Between both their first movie (the excellent Shallow Grave) and this one, it would kick Ewan McGregor and the director’s career into much higher profile.
In every way, it’s dark story is wonderfully told, and having a young SCOTTISH cast all in the early hungry part of their career (including a sexy Kelly Macdonald) certainly helps.
Still haven't seen the sequel from last year...
Last edited by chazgower01 on 13 Sep 2019, 09:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Aug 2019, 02:06

Midnight Cowboy (1969, USA) Criterion Channel 4/5
Director John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy has the advantage of being shot in one of my favorite movie period locations - 1970’s New York City (actually 1969) - but it’s the performances of Jon Voight (as the new in town country stud without a clue) and Dustin Hoffman (as Ratso, the filthy street hustler he befriends) that make this a classic. New York looks amazing in it.
Bob Balaban, who played the part of the NBC Network President on Seinfeld is here in a small early role as a college student who rips-off Voight (so to speak).

All the President’s Men (1976, USA) Netflix 4/5
Pretty straightforward ‘true’ story of Bob Woodard (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) in their quest to expose the story behind the Watergate burglaries. An all-star group rounds out the staff of the Washington Post in Jason Robards (great as the Publisher), Jack Warden, and Martin Balsam with Hal Holbrook as ‘Deep Throat’.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Aug 2019, 02:10

Taxi Driver (1976, USA) Netflix 5/5
What else can you say about this movie that hasn’t been said? Besides the classic performances, led by DeNiro’s Travis Bickle, it’s just great cinema - a movie that’s as watchable today as it was when it was released.
My favorite performance was always Harvey Keitel’s Pimp, though Jodie Foster (at 14) is pretty amazing as well.

Who’s That Knocking At My Door? (1967, USA) 3/5
Martin Scorsese’s first movie has many of his usual trademarks - classic rock score, Catholic imagery, Italian tough guys - it’s just clearly a little more unpolished than what we’d come to expect.
Still, it certainly has its visual moments and its story - Harvey Keitel’s girlfriend admits she was raped and isn’t a virgin, and he can’t handle it - for Scorsese it won’t be his last time handling the Madonna/whore complex.

Mean Streets (1973, USA) Netflix 3.5/5
Scorsese’s second feature with Harvey Keitel in the lead is much closer in tone and style to what he’d become famous for. DeNiro plays his obnoxious, immature brother who is slowly burning his bridges borrowing money and running his mouth, as Keitel tries to keep him from getting in too deep. I love Keitel, but I can see why DeNiro in his part and Pesci in DeNiro's part would later give the director's films much more pizazz. Still enjoyable flick though.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Aug 2019, 02:13

Motley Crue: The Dirt (2019, USA) Netflix 4/5
As damning a document of the 80’s Hair Metal scene as it could possibly get for a Netflix movie, its raunchy, loud, and many times hilariously funny before it eventually gets serious toward the last third of the movie. Not a huge Crue fan, but I appreciate the variation they created based upon the path that David Lee Roth/Van Halen blazed. Happy to see it get made in an era of #metoo - I mean, come on, the Runaways got a biopic before these guys did - and this one is a million times better.

The Boys (2019, USA) Amazon Prime 4/5
And speaking of #metoo, The Boys certainly changes its tune from the original comics - no WAY it would’ve gotten made if not - but it doesn’t diminish its impact all that much. Karl Urban is good in much of what he does, but really has been seriously under rated - here though, he’s PERFECT as BUTCHER the undercover op who wants to expose the corporate controlled superheroes for the bastards they really are. Anthony Starr as the Captian America/Superman-ish ‘Homelander’ is perfectly creepy and All-American at the same time and Erin Moriarty as Starlight, the naive new hero recruit, is in a role that has sent her Hollywood star sky high.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Aug 2019, 02:18

Mindhunter (2017, 2019, USA) Netflix (Season 1) 5/5 and (Season 2) 4/5
How I missed this original first season is beyond me, but it is an exceptional TV series (10 episodes per season) about the FBI agents who first put together the profiling techniques for serial killers. Set in the late 70’s, they interview Edmund Kemper and Richard Speck and others, all played to perfection, and even Manson in Season 2. It slows a little in the second half of Season 2 as it drags through the Atlanta Child Murders and Wayne Williams, while also focusing on two of the leads personal life issues, but overall this is an amazing series.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Aug 2019, 09:39

chazgower01 wrote:
27 Aug 2019, 02:04
and having a young English cast all in the early hungry part of their career (including a sexy Kelly Macdonald) certainly helps.
Really? :roll:
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Aug 2019, 09:46

Quick Change (1990) ***
Sharp, under-appreciated comedy starring and co-directed by Bill Murray.

Dave (1993) ***
Whimsical political satire, good-natured and satisfyingly likeable.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Aug 2019, 18:03

Girls Against Boys (2012) *
Female student is raped, falls in with man-hating psychopathic lesbian, and together they decide to get 'revenge' on any man who happens to cross their paths. Repugnant, offensive exploitation. An insult to rape victims and anyone with a soul. Not feminist, just foul.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 01 Sep 2019, 23:18

Cliffhanger (1993) ***
UHD viewing.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Sep 2019, 07:57

Ladder 49 (2004) **
Corny, episodic drama deals in the heroism of firefighters (specifically Joaquin Phoenix's family man).
Less effective than the similar Backdraft.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 07 Sep 2019, 09:33

Airplane (1980) **½
Uneven spoof of the Airport series, and in particular 50s B&W drama Zero Hour, from which the plot, characters, and even chunks of dialogue are taken. A million and one gags; many of them hit the target, many of them hit the floor with a thud. Over familiarity doesn't help. Casting (then) serious actors to play deadpan was a masterstroke, however. Incredible that anyone ever thought this was suitable for a PG rating.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 07 Sep 2019, 23:41

Dear Dictator (2016) *½
Peculiar comedy of dubious taste in which an aged dictator in exile plots his re-revolution with a disaffected teenage girl.
I saw this starred Michael Caine and thought 'how bad can it be'? Conveniently forgetting the disproportionate number of turkeys Sir Michael has graced with his presence. This isn't his worst, not even close, but it's not good.
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