Author Topic: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)  (Read 134340 times)

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #60 on: March 03, 2011, 04:14:31 AM »
Move Over, Darling (1963) R2 UK

Shortened Review:
Admittedly I didn't know very much about this film when I received it but having previously seen "My Favourite Wife" a few years ago and really enjoying it I was hoping I would get more of the same and I was happy with what I got. Despite all the problems in the initial casting of the film, and a change of director from George Cukor to Michael Gordon, the end result is a nice little light comedy with a few screwball moments, very much like "My Favourite Wife". Doris Day is perfect in her role and she gels really well with James Garner although I did think that Polly Bergen was miscast and she struggled to give off the same presence her role required, especially considering she is an essential character with a decent amount of screen time. Thelma Ritter is excellent as the mother-in-law trying to push things along but the highlight in the casting for me was Edgar Buchanan as Judge Bryson who provides the film with the dry wit required to make it known it is a serious situation, yet with comedic tones. Thankfully, he is not over or underused and his character is placed perfectly both at the beginning and at the end of the movie. The script has plenty of laughs in it without resorting to anything completely over the top or too risque although it is a little formulaic in it's structure (how many movies have a person going through the car wash with the windows/top down?). There are a few action scenes including a short car chase where the choreography is done well, yet doesn't excite as much as one would like. The movie has a nice and light orchestral score that suits the feel of the movie perfectly. The theme tune is catchy and thankfully here in all its glory (it was originally banned in the UK on the film's cinematic release and then made the charts in the 1980's). All in all, if you're a fan of any of the cast or a fan of "My Favourite Wife", then you'll certainly find something to enjoy here.

Full review:
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2361

Released 21st March 2011.

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2011, 07:09:00 PM »
We Are What We Are (2010) R2 UK

Shortened Review:
Cannibals "Let the Right One In"? Absolutely not. Something new? To a point, yes. For me, it was a film of two halves with the first half working better, not as a cannibal film, but as a film about a family struggling to cope after the death of the head of the family. The fact that they eat human flesh to live didn't feel like the main part of the story at this point, despite the film largely focusing on the brothers struggle to get along and to find a victim. The second half of the film felt like a cannibal film, victim finally bound and gagged, violence exploding but shot in a way in which, for the most part, we don't see the maliciousness of the attacks, but the way it is shot still gives you a rather vivid idea of what has happened. A good example of this was when the mother, Patricia, hits a victim repeatedly with a golf club. We see the hatred in her actions and her eyes, and we see the club get viciously swung towards the victim, but we don't see the actual contact, or the victim at all during the attack. The acting ranges from mediocre for the brothers, to above average for the mother, to excellent for Sheila, the sister, who does not get enough screen time to shine. Script wise the story could've flowed a little better at times but as a whole it is better than most films of the genre. The soundtrack was suitable but didn't really add to the atmosphere or build tension as much as it should've, which was a shame. As a whole I would say don't believe the hate, or the love this has received. I didn't find it to be anything new apart from the way the first half of the film develops and the fact it is set in a city rather than the middle of nowhere (and the city setting could've been utilised to a greater extent) yet I do feel that as a debut, Grau hasn't done bad and is a name to look out for in the future.

Full review:
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2362

Released 21st March 2011.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 11:19:04 PM by samuelrichardscott »

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2011, 08:39:54 PM »
Susana (1951) R0 UK

Shortened Review:
Although far from being Buñuel best film, "Susana" is an excellent melodrama. Buñuel has managed to write a script that may appear to be a simple straight-foward studio film but uses the strength it has in the base characters and the way in which these characters are brought to the screen to show a film that is quite insightful, playing on deception, love and the strength of a family unit, from the violent beginning to the immediately satisfying ending. The casting is excellent throughout. Luis Somoza is great as love-lorn son Alfredo, Maria Gentil Arcos plays her role as the religious head maid who sees right through Susana's deceptive ways and is scared to let her know it and Matilde Palou puts in an excellent performance as wife Dona as we see the character slowly go from a doting woman who just wants to look after Susana to someone who eventually snaps and starts whipping her. The real stars of the show though are Fernando Soler as Don Guadalupe whose powerful screen presence at the right times allows the viewer to slowly watch a man fall in love with the much younger Susana, and Rosita Quintana, who, in the title role, plays Susana so well on so many levels. From exuding sexiness to allure the male characters, to the victim of escaping a 'rape' (she never, it's the lie she tells when she reaches the household for the first time in the rain), to being a downright nasty bitch, Quintana brings this film up a peg from your average melodrama. The score isn't overpowering and is typical for the genre. As a whole, some Buñuel fans may be disappointed by the lack of surrealism he is famous for, but as a melodrama, the films holds up very well, thanks to being clinically shot and the superb cast.

Full review:
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2363

Released 14th March.

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2011, 10:54:04 PM »
The Brute (1953) R0 UK

Shortened Review:
The Brute is an interesting film and, like Susana, does not contain much of the surrealism Buñuel is famous for, instead opting for a melodrama that is both tragic and dark. Whilst the plot may not be particularly inspiring and sounds rather formulaic and simple, it ends up drawing you in through the strength of the script and the cast. In the lead role of Pedro (AKA 'The Brute') is Pedro Armendáriz (Calibre 44) who is perfectly suited in his role. A very big guy, he looks like the type of man a landlord may employ to evict his tenants yet also manages to show the viewer that he isn't just a tough guy through the character's simple mindedness, played to a tee. If it wasn't for Armendáriz's ability to play Pedro's scenes in which the character displays his weaknesses so well, this film would not have worked on the level it does. Also of note cast wise, is Andrés Soler as Andrés the landlord, Rosa Arenas as Meche and Katy Jurado as Paloma. The film is also filled with a couple of extremely memorable scenes, my favourite of which is the scene where Pedro is chased by tenants and, as he runs down one alleyway, Buñuel has set up the shot so that his shadow runs down another. I recommend this film to anyone with a passing interest in Buñuel's work, as this film is an excellent entry in his resume although just don't go into it expecting the surreal.

Full review:
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2379

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2011, 08:33:44 PM »
Larks on a String (1990) R0 UK

Shortened Review:
Larks on a String is a bleak and tragic story right from the outset. As the film progresses you see how the oppressive regime affects different people, from the imprisoned female scrapyard workers who tried to defect to the west, to the workers who are there 'voluntarily' to pay for their 'crimes' (such as the chef who refuses to work on the Sabbatical). More importantly, at least in my opinion, you also see how it affects the guards who may be as oppressed as the prisoners themselves. One part romantic comedy, one part political satire, the film manages to move between the two with ease with rapore between the male and female prisoners and although the characters make light of their situation, the way the story is told also manages to show how tragic all their lives are.

Full review:
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2382

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2011, 12:27:37 AM »
The Round Up (2010) R2 UK DVD

Shortened Review:
Let me say straight away, this is a great, yet harrowing feature from novice director Rose Bosch. When the film opens we are immediately told that all the characters and events, even the most extreme, took place based on first hand accounts from some of the very few that survived. Right off the bat, the film follows young jewish children as they struggle with day to day life as their parents jobs are lost and they are banned from many public places. It isn't long before the French police raid the jewish housing areas so they can arrest them, but you see a small glimmer of hope for some as Parisian neighbour's do what they can to help hide some of the children. Throughout the film, your emotions are pushed all over the place as you see the horrid conditions the jews are subjected to, but at the same time, you smile as some people do what they can to help them, including a scene with a plumber which, whilst short and a minor part of the film, is very important to show how some Parisian's felt about the imprisonment. Helped along by a great cast, including Jean Reno and Mélanie Laurent, the film manages to show the disturbing events through well shot, well directed scenes yet for me, wasn't without one major fault. Although the French government were at serious fault during the event (even resulting in a public apology by French primeminister Chirac in 1995), the film doesn't show the French government's involvement as harshly as it should. Despite this, The Round Up is recommended. Just don't expect a happy ending.

Full review (inc. picture/audio/extras):
http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=2462

Released 18th July 2010

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2011, 03:36:28 AM »


Along Came Polly (2004) R1 USA

Overview:
Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller) is a guy who’s spent his entire life playing it safe. Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston) is irresistible as a free spirit who lives for the thrill of the moment. When these two comically mismatched souls collide, Reuben's world is turned upside down, as he makes an uproarious attempt to change his life from middle-of-the-road to totally-out-there! Along Came Polly is the most hilarious comedy smash to come along in years!

Thoughts:
Jennifer Aniston has made rom-coms her staple pay in the last ten years, starring alongside Ben Stiller, Debra Messing and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in this one. Typical plot that throws no surprises, it has some quite funny moments usually involving PSH's character who is an ex-child star. If you like by-the-book rom-coms then you'll probably like this. 3/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2011, 02:07:05 PM »


The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) R0 USA DVD

Overview
From his secret lair deep within the South American jungle, international super-villain Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) and his sadistic daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin of THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) reveal their latest diabolical plot for world domination: ten beautiful women are infected with an ancient poison so deadly that one kiss from their lips will bring instant death and lead to a global plague. Now the Asian madman's nemesis, Nayland Smith (Richard Greene of TALES FROM THE CRYPT), must desperately hunt an antidote in a savage land where rape and torture reign and the ultimate evil lies in THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU.

Maria Rohm (THE BLOODY JUDGE) and Shirley Eaton (GOLDFINGER) co-star in this wild Fu Manchu feature written and produced by Harry Alan Towers (VENUS IN FURS) and directed by the one and only Jess Franco (VAMPYROS LESBOS, EUGENIE). Released in America as KISS AND KILL, Blue Underground has fully restored THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU from its original European negative complete with additional scenes of nudity and violence!

Thoughts
I bought this for several reasons: I'm generally very happy with Blue Underground's output, I'm a fan of Christopher Lee and I'm a fan of Jess Franco. Unfortunately, this film, based on the character of Fu Manchu (whom until this film I was not familiar with) disappoints slightly. Lee overacts (not a problem), and Franco's direction is his standard nudity/violence affair (again, not a problem) but I felt that whilst the idea of Fu Manchu giving ten woman poison so that when they kiss the world's most powerful men, the men die, was a good one it was put together in a rather unconventional way without enough thought to structure. Fans of Franco and Lee might enjoy, but I would recommended a rental first. 2.5/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2011, 04:35:05 PM »


The Card Player (2004) R0 UK DVD

Overview:
Dario Argento [Suspiria] returns with this giallo for the digital age.  In The Card Player online gambling comes with a hefty price.  Your life!

A serial killer, at large in Rome, plays a deadly game with the city's police.  For every woman he kidnaps, the investigating officers are given the chance to win them back by entering a game of online poker, though losing results in the ultimate price being paid.  Will the police uncover the killer's identity before he deals his next victim?

Featuring all the signature spectacle and gut-churning violence for which he is synonymous, The Card Player is another deliriously stylish thriller from director Argento.

Thoughts:
As a fan of giallos, I thought I would check out Argento's 2004 serial killer thriller The Card Player set in Rome, despite reading a good share of negative reviews. British detective John Brennan (played by Ian Cunningham) teams up with Italian detective Anna Mari (played by Stefania Rocca) in what turns out to be a reasonably good effort by Argento where he manages a decent storyline, with some good death scenes without having to resort to loud noises and copious amounts of CGI to distress the viewer. The majority of the secondary cast unfortunately bring the film down a little and I'm sure whoever did the casting could've found more talented actors to fill in these roles. The storyline, whilst generally following a formulaic route, succeeds with an unexpected ending and the soundtrack is utilised very well (as always for Argento). This is far from Argento's best work, but it's better than the critics say and it's definately worthy of a look at least, especially if you're a fan of giallos. 3/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2011, 06:55:00 PM »


The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) R0 USA DVD

Overview:
Christopher Lee returns as the diabolical super-villain who along with his sadistic daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin of THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU and THE JOY LUCK CLUB) creates a fiendish new chemical weapon that will turn the seas into a giant block of ice. But when his Archenemy Nayland Smith (Richard Greene of TALES FROM THE CRYPT) tracks the madman's trail of kidnapping, murder and massive global destruction, he himself becomes trapped in Fu's impenetrable lair of cruelty. Can any of the world's top secret agents (including a wild performance by Director Jess Franco) now stop the cold-blooded terror that lives in the CASTLE OF FU MANCHU?

Maria Perschy (99 WOMEN) and Rosalba Neri (JUSTINE) co-star in this notorious sequel to THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU directed by Jess Franco (THE BLOODY JUDGE, VAMPYROS LESBOS) that marked Christopher Lee's final performance as the infamous Chinese madman. This definitive edition of THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU has been newly restored from it's original print and packed with exclusive new Extras for a disc full of Fu Manchu mayhem!

Thoughts:
My second foray into the world of Fu Manchu is the second Franco/Lee collaboration in which Lee's Fu Manchu creates a weapon to freeze the sea. Like "The Blood of Fu Manchu", it is shot in the typical Jess Franco style, using many minutes of stock footage to keep costs down on what is already a noticeably low budget sequel. Unfortunately, this film fails at most levels, from the acting to the story and there is little to keep even the most ardent Fu Manchu fan interested. Reading various sites before buying this, I had heard that the two Franco films are easily the worst so I think I need to check out some of the early films based on this character Christopher Lee played six times. I can't recommend this to anyone although I will say Tsai Chin is the highlight in a barrel of crap. 1.5/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2011, 08:41:52 PM »


Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000) R2 UK DVD

Overview:
Kevin and Perry Go Large follows our two hormonally challenged lads on their quest to lose their virginity and become the world's top DJ mixmasters.

It's the summer holidays and Kevin (Harry Enfield) and Perry (Kathy Burke) know that there is only one place where the DJ reigns supreme and girls are gagging for it - IBIZA! Armed with a suitcase full of condoms and some wicked gear the boys head for the promised land of sun, sea and big shags.

On arrival, the boys spy the girls of their dreams - Candice and Gemma - as well as their god - superstar DJ genius Eye Ball Paul (Rhys Ifans). Will this be the best summer ever? Will the boys get their new track "Big Girl" played in the clubs? Will they finally get to DO IT?!?!

Thoughts:
Harry Enfield had a very successful sketch show with Kathy Burke in the nineties which managed to chuck out some great memorable characters. The Kevin and Perry characters were one of the more famous sketches (along with Wayne and Waynetta Slob) to come out of the show and in 2000, they made a feature length (well, 75 min) film about the two awkward teens going on holiday to Ibiza to try and get laid and get their music played. Whilst there are some funny moments, some gross-out, the characters are unfortunately one joke wonders that, whilst fitting a sketch show perfectly, struggle to adapt to a big screen outing. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable as it certainly has some good moments, Rhys Ifans is great as Eye Ball Paul and Paul Whitehouse's cameo as a bouncer is hilarious. Rent it. 2.5/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2011, 11:09:04 PM »


Diary of the Dead (2007) R2 UK DVD

Overview:
In his first independent zombie film in over two decades, George A. Romero returns to ground zero in the history of the living dead. When a group of film students making a horror movie in the woods discovers that the dead have begun to revive, they turn their cameras on the real-life horrors that suddenly confront them, creating a first person diary of their bloody encounters and the disintegration of everything they hold dear.
Told with Romero's pitch-black humour and an unflinching eye on our modern world, GEORGE A. ROMERO'S DIARY OF THE DEAD marks the legendary trailblazer's return to his roots.

Thoughts:
Diary of the Dead is yet another film in Romero's mainly one trick pony career. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he is damn good at that one trick, and even the critically disliked Land of the Dead was a joy to watch in my opinion. However, my first viewing of Diary of the Dead was rather disappointing. It's good, but there is nothing new, with Romero even jumping on the 'handheld camera footage' bandwagon that started after The Blair Witch Project which Matt Reeves managed to do a whole lot better than Romero with 2008's Cloverfield. I wasn't overly keen on any of the characters and the way a lot of the script revolved around 'why are you filming?' / 'I don't wasnt to be filmed' annoyed me. It's good to see Romero go back to his roots but he's better than this average effort. 3/5

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #72 on: July 07, 2011, 02:53:25 AM »


Down to You (2000) R2 UK DVD

Overview:
Freddie Prinze Jr. (She's All That) stars as Al Connelly, a college student aiming for a career as a world class chef whose passions explode when he falls in love with Imogen, Julia Stiles (Save The Last Dance).

Set against the fabulously chaotic backdrop of college life in New York City, their story tells of the conflict between true love and the temptation to wander astray from commitment. When mischievous room mates enter the scene, Al and Imogen are confronted with obstacles that add to the highlights and pitfalls of their love affair.

Thoughts:
Well, when a film is a rom-com starring Freddie Prinze Jr, you shouldn't hold out much hope. Bought solely for Rosario Dawson's small role, this is actually a film of missed opportunities. Instead of being your typical boy (Prinze Jr) meets girl (Julia Stiles) it actually turns into a break-up and a series of 'what ifs?' What if they had stayed together? This results in what started as a rom-com trying to turn into a drama making a mess of the general feel of the film. Freddie Prinze Jr has absolutely zero screen presence, Stiles doesn't so much better. It does have a few good moments, generally involving Dawson or Selma Blair but it's a film that doesn't know which direction it wants to go in and because of that, it falls apart. 2/5

Najemikon

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #73 on: July 07, 2011, 12:25:49 PM »
Diary of the Dead is yet another film in Romero's mainly one trick pony career. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he is damn good at that one trick, and even the critically disliked Land of the Dead was a joy to watch in my opinion. However, my first viewing of Diary of the Dead was rather disappointing. It's good, but there is nothing new, with Romero even jumping on the 'handheld camera footage' bandwagon that started after The Blair Witch Project which Matt Reeves managed to do a whole lot better than Romero with 2008's Cloverfield. I wasn't overly keen on any of the characters and the way a lot of the script revolved around 'why are you filming?' / 'I don't wasnt to be filmed' annoyed me. It's good to see Romero go back to his roots but he's better than this average effort. 3/5

This seemed to come out in the middle of the latest "found footage" craze and I thought Romero's ideas were the best. He just couldn't quite realise them. In Survival Of The Dead, he's still having good ideas and a couple of great characters, but I'm afraid he's lost touch with his audience. He used to be the zombie Godfather and we followed him, but now he keeps trying new things -and for that he should be applauded- but they just aren't enough fun any more. Damn shame.

Well, when a film is a rom-com starring Freddie Prinze Jr, you shouldn't hold out much hope. Bought solely for Rosario Dawson's small role, this is actually a film of missed opportunities. Instead of being your typical boy (Prinze Jr) meets girl (Julia Stiles) it actually turns into a break-up and a series of 'what ifs?' What if they had stayed together? This results in what started as a rom-com trying to turn into a drama making a mess of the general feel of the film. Freddie Prinze Jr has absolutely zero screen presence, Stiles doesn't so much better. It does have a few good moments, generally involving Dawson or Selma Blair but it's a film that doesn't know which direction it wants to go in and because of that, it falls apart. 2/5

I can hear a barrel being scraped!  :P

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Never Ending Movie Marathon (short reviews)
« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2011, 12:58:38 PM »
I gave Survival a 3/5 also. Zombie riding horses rock. His next project is directing a remake of Deep Red so we'll see how that pans out...

As for scraping the bottle of the barrel with Down to You - Yeah, not a great film, but there are certainly far worse out there. I'm a massive fan of Rosario Dawson and just disappointed how minor her role is. I'm sure teenage girls are happy with it, but it messes up with lack of direction.