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What have you watched recently? 3D!



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    Holmes and Watson. Not as bad as twitter etc. try to make out but not great either. 2/5 from me.

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    "Black Site Delta" (2017) Netflix - beyond bad. Not possible to rate - avoid. Thriller with no thrills, no direction, zero plot, every cliche possible and a cast of nobodies -avoid at all costs.

    Watch the trailer below with all the 'best' bits and save yourselves a lot of pain.

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    Empire of the Sun 1987 If you ask me film doesn't get any better then this. I remember seeing this in the cinema when I was a kid and loving it, and I love it more as an adult. When I see the magic Spielberg was able to produce back then and compare it to say Ready Player One and the mess that turned into after an hour, the head doth shaketh.
    The performance from Christian Bale is really astounding for one so young, I think its the best of his career, and I can't remember a kid giving such a complex performance in anything else, he was really mature and talented beyond his years. The score is beautiful, perhaps John Williams best which is really saying something. It never won a single oscar which defies belief, I can't find any flaws in it.

    Joyeux Noel 2005 A heart warming Christmas film about the German, French and Scottish troops in world war one who were fighting in the trenches agreeing to a truce on Christmas Eve, singing, drinking and playing football together. A true story, that really highlights the difference between the brass and the front line troops. I can't think of an anti war film so simply put with such an effective message.

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    "Eye of the Needle" (1981) on Netflix.

    A pre-D Day WW.II. spy film largely set in the remote Scottish Highlands/islands. Donald Sutherland is a German spy with vital information that must be delivered personally to Hitler. However, the pursuing forces are closing in as he desperately tries to make contact with a U-boat sent to bring him back to Germany.....

    A well-crafted plot, good acting and an explosive finale. 9/10

    This very short YouTube trailer gives just enough information without spoiling the movie.

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    Good example of a 'lost' film, dunno when it was last shown on TV.

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    Mr E wrote: »
    Bird Box last night. Very enjoyable. Cracking performance from Sandra Bullock.

    Watched it last night, enjoyed it a lot. I knew nothing of the prior material, and went in blind. Bullock was brilliant

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    Inviere wrote: »
    went in blind.

  • #2


    Pun not intended :o

  • #2

    Inviere wrote: »
    Pun not intended :o
    So is it a sequel to The Blind Side, then? Another Oscar™ nomination for Sandy B?

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    I caught Molly's Game last night. Recognisably written by Sorkin (oh look, people striding down a corridor talking fast at one another), this took what seems an interesting story and landed it with some of the clunkiest, most unbelievable connective tissue I've seen in years. The performances were as good as they could be given some of the junk in the script. Very glad I skipped this at the cinema, and I'm baffled at the positive reception I recall it getting at the time...

  • #2

    'The Stuff'

    A 1985 Larry Cohen B movie satire on consumerism and bad food that never really manages to land any punches, unfortunately, despite its interesting set up. But it's so wildly plotted and edited that it just comes off a slipshod and you can't help but feel that there are parts of the film that are missing.

    The stuff of the title is a semi-sentient yogurt like substance that has spewed up from the ground and has been marketed by some no good opportunists to seemingly addicted punters and industrial saboteur, Michael Moriarty, is hired to investigate leading to some "surprising" discoveries.

    The problem is, though, is that there just isn't enough plot to hang a story on and 'The Stuff' struggles to fill its 90 minutes, even though it feels like Leatherface has hacked it to pieces with a meat cleaver to get it down to that running time and everything just feels so clumsy.

    There are some Street Trash-esque "body horror" parts that work ok and a few charming 80's effects attempts. However, they can't do anything to elevate the film above an odd, but largely dull, curiosity.


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    Watching Running Man on SyFy. Liked it when I was young but it hasn't aged well at all. :)

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    The Dawn Wall - 8.5/10

    Great climbing doc. Must check out free solo next.

    Bad Times at the El Royale - 7.5/10

    Good setting, tone, casting and music.

    The guilty - 9/10

    Tense Danish film, watch it before the American remake w/ Jake Gyllenhaal

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    The Light Between Oceans (2016):

    Excellent movie, well shot, entertaining story and brilliant performances by Fassbender & Alicia Vikander

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    The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954). I haven't seen any of the reboot, but I doubt they could hold a candle to the sheer anarchy to be found here in the original film.
    At most schools, girls are sent out quite unprepared for a merciless world but, when our girls leave here, it is the merciless world which has to be prepared.
    I was cracking up from the start, mostly, starting with the reactions of everyone to the mere name of St. Trinian's, and the progress of the gilrs towards the school like a thundering herd of elephants on helium. Then there's Alistair Sims in drag as headmistress Miss Fritton, the school motto (In Flagrante Delicto), the chemistry class / bathtub gin factory, the appearance of Flash Harry from the bushes every time someone whistles for him, and later (spoiler alert) a racehorse wandering up and down the school stairs ... and that hockey match, which starts with two different referrees getting knocked out with a croquet mallet, and heads downhill from there. I also liked seeing comedian Joyce Grenfell in a straight role, as a police officer who goes under cover as a teacher. I'm not sure I followed everything that happened or got every joke, but there was still a lot going on.

  • #2

    Mr E wrote: »
    Watching Running Man on SyFy. Liked it when I was young but it hasn't aged well at all. :)

    Yeah, saw that too. Well, it certainly has its charm as a prime example of 80's dumb muscle-fest action movies.

    It was trying so hard to be Robocop (released the same year) with satirical digs at 80's consumerism and merchandising but it just didn't have the ability to pull it off as well.

    As you said, it hasn't aged well in that it dated horribly but it is quite quaint :)

  • #2

    Watched Wreck it Ralph 2.

    Pretty good. It got slammed pretty hard upon release and it is certainly more of a Disney advertising platform that the first one. In the first one the references to games were fairly evenly distributed among different companies but there are whole sections purely dedicated to Disney.

    Now these are pretty funny: The much-hyped Princess scene is pretty funny
    Especially the bits about Venelope's song
    but it is pretty on-the-nose in a way that it was NOT in The Lego Movie - That could/should have been one HUGE advert yet the word Lego isn't even mentioned in the movie.

    The advertising was annoyingly blatant. I suppose it could be that, in the first movie the references to the games tended to be pretty retro and the companies were not referred to at all. Nobody said "Hiya Sega's Sonic" or anything but here, given the nature of the movie, they have to be the most current and popular companies so queue huge logos for Google, IMDb, Twitter, Youtube etc.

    It will be interesting to see how up-to-date it will be in 20 years.

    So, tldr: Pretty good. Not the huge disappointment that critics made it out to be but the glaring advertisement does leave a sour taste in the mouth.

  • #2

    The Verdict (1946)
    Very good thriller/whodunnit with Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. Plenty of twists and turns keep the story interesting. Can't really say anymore about it without giving away the story! If you like your London foggy, this is one for you!!!

    Hopefully Warner Archive will bring this out on blu-ray. The DVD doesn't do it much justice.

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    Watched the Absolutely Fabulous film there. Very disappointing. I can't help feel that Ab Fab was very much of its time in the 90s. Even the more recent TV revivals have been very poor.

    The central plot is that they've accidentally killed Kate Moss, which could have been a brilliant set up for Eddie and Patsy going on the run but instead of having them slum it somewhere and doing a fish out of water style thing they sent them to the South of France and basically have them living the same life they always did but in Cannes instead of London.

    You'd have to wonder why this was ever made. Was there ever a huge demand for an Ab Fab film? It felt like something Jennifer Saunders churned out to get the BBC to stop annoying her about making more for TV.

  • #2

    Valley Uprising.

    About the pro climbers in Yosemite National Park.

    Very interesting and some really scary footage is you are afraid of heights.

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    Watching 'Eyes Wide Shut' here now. Very strange film. As are all Kubrick films. I'm making my way through all the Kubrick films, The Shining being the best by far. Clockwork Orange I just couldn't finish it, Have tried a few times.

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    Based on Nicolas Pileggi's book 'Wiseguy', about mafia mobster Henry Hill, Martin Scorsese's 1990 classic is probably the best film he's made, although 'Taxi Driver' and 'Raging Bull' are only a couple of mm's behind.

    Even if the film is more a series of vignettes, rather than a solid whole, it doesn't stop the story from developing in an easily digestible manner, and while characters can come and go (hello Christopher Soprano!), their brief screen presence is largely satisfying enough. In any case, if Scorsese had tried to film all of Hill's story, the movie would have ended up 8 hours long and as it stands, there were many script rewrites to get it to where it ended up.

    But there isn't a second of flab on the screen and each scene plays out superbly, in no short credit to Thelma Schoonmaker's brilliant editing. It's in no doubt aided by a cast that is absolutely perfect for their roles too, with some of them never being better. DeNiro's Jimmy Conway (based on the real life Jimmy Burke) provides a great anchor to Ray Liotta's central performance of Henry Hill and Paul Sorvino's Paulie Cicero (real life Paul Vario) is suitably dead eyed and cold. But, for many, it's the wild and unpredictable Tommy DeVito (based on Tommy DeSimone and a career best Joe Pesci) who remains the film's most memorable, and volatile, character.

    The film is jam packed with classic tunes, too, that provide excellent grounding for the timeline. As the story spans the passage of time from the 50's to the 80's, Scorsese's carefully chosen tracks date the era nicely and the songs are a bit of a character themselves.

    As you'd imagine, the film is laced with casual violence, but its never gratuitous and seeing these thugs in action is undeniably fascinating.



    Joachim Phoenix's mopey Theodore Twombly, works as a kind of proxy letter writer in some obscure, undisclosed, company. He has recently broken up with his wife and is awaiting their divorce, which has made him even more depressed than usual and his life seems to be a pretty miserable existence at the juncture we are introduced to him.

    One day he buys a new operating system that the seller promises will learn, adapt and evolve. He chooses a female voice, which calls herself Samantha, to act as a vocal interface of sorts. But soon he finds out that it is much, much, more and over time he begins to fall in love with it.

    Set in a wholly believable and not too distant future, Spike Jonze's 'Her' sounds like it would be a twee and hokey "romance". But, it throws up a lot more insights on the nature of love, the role that vocal communication plays in relationships, break ups, technology and our increasing reliance on it for our daily lives. It's kind of faintly disturbing, too, in a "get under the skin" fashion and the smart use of Scarlett Johansson's lovely, broken, voice is a wonderful move, which makes Twombly's unnatural love interest all the more convincing and less far fetched as it might sound on a first impression.

    And even if I was, all the way through the film, thinking that Twombly was an insufferable derp, I still felt gutted for him when the bloody computer tells him that she's being doing the dirty, of sorts, and dumps him to bugger off on her own way. Luckily, for Twombly, it's implied that good old friend (and recently dumped herself) Amy Adams will be there to provide a possible real romance in the future.



    The 2018 "rebootle" that seeks to destroy the multiple sequels that spawned after John Carpenter's smash hit 1978 slasher is a bit of a damp squib, it has to be said. While not terrible, it's completely pedestrian and contains absolutely nothing we haven't seen before from the genre.

    Although beginning stupidly, it settles down into a fairly well acted piece, with Jaime Lee Curtis taking the honours in her reprisal of the permanently tormented Laurie Strode, rendered here as a grannie that's spent decades preparing for Michael Myer's inevitable return. It's all so obvious what's going to happen in the film and there is nothing new at all here for anyone familiar with Carpenter's film, or slashers in general.

    2018's lazily titled 'Halloween' is effective enough, if largely harmless, but it does have a good bit of fat that needed better trimming in the editing room. Everything to do with Laurie's daughter is just so unnecessary and I ended up feeling that it would have been better to merely focus on the relationship between Grandmother and Granddaughter, without the pauses to focus on her boring offspring's tedious middle class life. There are a some other scenes, too, that leave you wondering why they were included and there is also an atrocious "twist" that really never needed to exist.

    The movie also misses Carpenter's touch and Dean Cundy's instantly recognisable cinematography too. It's all filmed in a very perfunctory, if perfectly fine, manner. Not that a slasher film has to be anything but serviceable and respectful to the tropes of its, admittedly, tired genre. But, there's nothing stand out about Blumhouse's 'Halloween' and while I couldn't care less about every sequel from 'Halloween IV' onwards, I have to admit to being mildly irked about its destruction of 'Halloween II', which I've always liked. The wonderfully bizarre 'Halloween III' still exists in its own universe of course and we can all for that, I guess.


  • #2

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    Excellent, really enjoyed this. Must watch more Cohen Brothers stuff. 9/10.

    Bird Box

    Made the mistake of buying in to the huge hype that surrounds it. Pretty disappointing, 6/10.

  • #2

    'Inside No.9'

    The very definition of a mixed bag, 'Inside No.9' runs the gamut of smart, funny, scary and boring all in the space of 6 episodes. Written and performed (mostly) by two of 'The League of Gentlemen', Reece Sheersmith and Steve Pemberton, the TV show is a sort of "anything goes" type of free imagination, where the viewer really doesn't know what an episode will bring. This can, obviously, be a good thing and a bad thing and, in fairness, series one of 'Inside No.9' is mostly good. But, there were moments I was checking my watch - The Understudy - and at least one entire episode - Last Gasp - that lost me altogether.

    On the plus side, there are a couple of episodes that are very good, such as the well written Tom & Gerri and A Quiet Night in. Also, as you would expect from members of 'The League of Gentlemen', there's a level of creepiness in a couple of episodes too, with The Harrowing ending with some pretty scary visuals.

    Over all, it's well worth a watch and I'll be throwing on the second series soon enough.


  • #2

    Welcome to Marwen at the cinema this evening. It was very good.

  • #2

    Pacific Rim Job 2 - Acting, plot line, dialogue - lame. Held my interest for 20 minutes, then it was background noise.

  • #2

    "The Sinking of the Laconia" (2010) on Netflix.

    Based on a true incident that happened off the coast of Africa during WW.II. - in German with English subtitles.

    Watchable enough made for TV mini-series but despite a good deal of submarine action don't watch expecting "Das Boot". The SS Laconia set-out for Britain from South Africa with a cargo of passengers and Italian prisoners of war when it was attacked and sunk by a German U-boat......6/10

    "Silverado" (1985) on Netflix.

    A standard western but with a well crafted plot, lots of action and humour, plus an eclectic cast including Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Kevin Costner, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum.

    At over two hours the movie will keep you watching through to the end. 8/10

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    'Inside No. 9' series 2 - 4

    Prompted by a pretty good first series, I burned through the entire show as it currently stands and it comes off as a largely well written one, with a few bumpy intervals here and there, which I suppose is to be expected in a TV show that's a completely different thing each week.

    Sheersmith and Pemberton's scripts are usually interesting and rarely dull, but it does happen on occasion. But, in general, 'Inside No. 9' is an excellent example of its kind and when it's good, it's great, with a number of standout episodes, like The 12 Days of Christine, Cold Comfort, The Riddle of the Sphinx, Diddle Diddle Dumpling, Private View, Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room, Once Removed, To Have and to Hold and Tempting Fate.

    Here and there, like the first series, the quality slips and one or two relatively duff entries can raise their head, like Nana's Party, Seance Time, The Bill and Empty Orchestra which, while interesting enough ideas, don't live up to the better stories that the pair can come up with. But, there's really only been two episodes that didn't do anything at all for me, Last Gasp and the aforementioned Empty Orchestra.

    As a show, though, 'Inside No. 9' contains more entertaining ideas in its 24 current 30 minute episodes - 26 if you include the specials - than a lot of other TV fare.

    Series 2 - 7/10

    Series 3 - 7/10

    Series 4 - 9/10

  • #2

    Beautiful Boy, about addiction in America in general, but the relationship between a father and his addict son is the main thrust of this film.
    It's timely in that it shows addiction from the middle class viewpoint, it's not all skid row junkies. It can be a bit overly dramatic and you'll feel like slapping the characters, but it's well acted and worth a watch.

  • #2

    Watched Roma last night.

    Well, I say watched it. Stopped after the hour mark, tripe. Wil' boring.

    Sometimes I can't understand rave reviews for what I see as bad films. Then again perhaps I'm a philistine. Hated Moonlight too.

    On the other hand, went to see the Spider verse film today. Really surprised, it was excellent.

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