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The First of the Few (1943)

 

Dramatic account of the birth of the Spitfire

 

Wartime propaganda is awesome. Secretaries smile wanly when bombs drop, pipe-smoking pilots banter while thousands of the Luftwaffe cross the channel, and David Niven shags his way across the continent.

 

My uncle met Niven on a boat on the way back from france during WWII, the way he tells it he wasn’t much different to the screen persona. He tells this story in flashback, regaling pilots on a break from winning the war with how his old pal, RJ Mitchell, turned a day at the seaside into an aviation revolution.

 

Starting with seaplanes and a prestigious world event for the fastest lap, his revolutionary designs wipe the floor with the best the Americans & Italians can offer. As the 20s go on we see the rise of the fascists and Mussolini and then the Nazis come into the picture. It’s really quite poignant in these scenes, knowing it was bang in the heat of war, that this movie shows European countries as good friends, joined by a passion for flying until the insidious march of Hitler and the tearing up of the Versailles treaty causes the hero to rush home and set himself on a death march to design a plane that can win what he feels is the war to come.

 

Niven is awesome, as always. Famously a pilot in the sublime A Matter of Life and Death, here he just has a lark, the dashing pilot and serial bachelor, I loved watching his expressions and mannerisms, sending up his own ‘bad influence.’

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On 05/11/2018 at 22:19, Bazjam said:

Climax (2018)

 

I've always admired the films of Gaspar Noe but never really connected with them. Climax has changed all that. I loved it. It's by far his best film, and for the first time one I can't wait to watch again. It's just as dark and fucked up as his other films, but this time there's also a level of excitement and wit added to the mix and it's all the better for it. Definitely needs to be watched on the loudest speakers/headphones available. 

 

5/5

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YES.

 

It feels like Noé's masterpiece. He incorporates the switch that he uses in I Stand Alone where the flow and tone of the entire film shifts after a clear 'alert' point, at which it becomes a descent into insanity, chaos and a study of degradation.

 

Outstanding performances all round and, as ever with his work, its a tough watch at multiple points. Quality choreography for the dance section too. Trippy, mesmeric cinema at its best.

 

At its heart, the latter half reminds me most of:

 

Mother's rapid fire ending section

 

 

What a fucking film.

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On 02/02/2019 at 20:49, Bazjam said:

Burning (2019)

 

Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.

 

This film is stunning. I really don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before and I just can’t get it out of my head. It’s quite an odd film, and for the first half of it I just couldn’t understand why it had had such high praise. The story meanders and the lead is unlikable and lacks charisma. Then the gears change and you start reassessing everything you’ve been watching. I can’t wait to watch it again, and I’m pretty sure I will take away a different interpretation on each viewing.

 

the cast are fantastic, particularly Steven Yeun who’s improved a hell of a lot since leaving The Walking Dead. Not seen any other films by Chang-dong Lee, but I’m keen to seek out more now.

 

kermode loved it, but I’d stay away from his review if you haven’t seen it as he details far too much of the plot.

 

5/5

 

I saw this too and it is fantastic, best film I'v seen in a long time, I've been thinking about it all week, an enigmatic masterpiece. 

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Aquaman (2018)

 

"Crab people, crab people, taste like crab, talk like people"

This movie is so ridiculous but totally in a good way. If ever there was a film to say " just go with it" its this one. Its DC finally letting their hair down and embracing the madness of one of its characters and their world. I mean, its not really a good film, the dialogue is terrible, the underwater sections feel really disjointed and its a big CGI clusterfuck 80% of the time, but it's just really entertaining. Jason Maoma clearly had an awesome time making this, you can tell as much with his performance. 

One thing I couldn't help shake though was how stupid the main villian was wanting to attack the surface when the surface has Superman to protect it.

The film is basically Star Wars/LOTR/Power Ranges/Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Sword in the Stone all wrapped into one. Utterly bonkers.

 

3/5

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Journeyman 

 

Paddy Considines second movie as director and he's the male lead. . Avoid any trailers and just watch it.  Him and Jodie Whitaker are superb in this and its one of the best films I've seen in ages. 

 

Tis on Amazon prime too. 

 

 

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Red Alert (1977)

An accident at a nuclear power plant threatens to turn critical, but was it sabotage? I was unsure what to expect from this 1977 TV movie starring William Devane, and as I watched it I was kept guessing right the way through. What we have here is a superbly-written thriller, based on the novel Paradigm Red by Harold King, that keeps adding on the twists and tension, culminating in a unique and tense climax. Without giving too much away, Devane and co are initially trying to establish what went wrong at the plant which could go critical, but soon find something potentially more sinister. There's tension between the investigators on the ground and the commander who insists on everything being done by the book and is reliant on his computer analysis. It did feel like some of the plot lines, like the one investigator's family trying to flee, had been seriously cut back from the novel (I've not read it so can't say for sure), but the core intrigue around the potential disaster was solid, as was the direction and acting, both excellent. An thriller worthy of your time.

 

And you can watch the whole thing right here:

 

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Burning joins Memories of Murder and Mother at the very very top of Asian drama/mysteries. 

 

Absolutely outstanding slowburn of a movie with two strong central performances. That last hour is so, so tense. If anything tops this, and Climax this year, its been a stunning year for film.

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2 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

Burning joins Memories of Murder and Mother at the very very top of Asian drama/mysteries. 

 

Absolutely outstanding slowburn of a movie with two strong central performances. That last hour is so, so tense. If anything tops this, and Climax this year, its been a stunning year for film.

I really need to see Memories Of A Murder and Mother. Two films that I’ve been meaning to get round to for a long time.

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1 hour ago, Bazjam said:

I really need to see Memories Of A Murder and Mother. Two films that I’ve been meaning to get round to for a long time.

 

Memories is still the best outright Asian crime/drama/mystery film I've seen. Its absolutely phenomenal. Mother is real good but is a slight step down on Memories and Burning.

 

This is leaving aside stuff like Cure, I Saw The Devil, Confessions, The Man From Nowhere (my avatar :wub: this film so so much), Cold Fish, The Handmaiden etc

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12 minutes ago, Dark Soldier said:

 

Memories is still the best outright Asian crime/drama/mystery film I've seen. Its absolutely phenomenal. Mother is real good but is a slight step down on Memories and Burning.

 

This is leaving aside stuff like Cure, I Saw The Devil, Confessions, The Man From Nowhere (my avatar :wub: this film so so much), Cold Fish, The Handmaiden etc


Memories of Murder is probably out and out my favourite Asian thriller too, aside from obvious crowd pleasers like Hard Boiled and OldBoy.

I always bang on about it, but have you seen A Hard Day, Soldier?

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Red Alert is a cracking movie, I remember seeing it as a kid and being terrified. 

 

Finally got round to seeing something new, and one I'd been looking forward to. Alas.

 

Overlord (2018)

 

While on a mission to destroy a radio tower in Nazi-held territory, a group of American soldiers come across something far more sinister. 

 

I've been looking forward to this since I heard about it last year. In terms of cinematic villains, I've got no issue with Nazis being wiped out, especially if they're running some kind of experimental super soldier program in a small French town. Sadly Overlord isn't sure what it wants to be, and takes an age to decide. There's a great opening of the platoon aboard a plane that comes under fire. This was brutal as bit by bit the plane becomes a fire ball and soldiers are sucked out into the night sky. We then cut to a few survivors of the wreck as they make their way into a town that houses a radio tower that they need to destroy. 

 

This leads to a tense situation as they are trapped in a small house as the Nazis come and pay a visit to the young girl who lives there. There are a couple of hints of something more sinister going on - people being dragged to the town church, an odd dog-like corpse and the young girl's aunt being covered in boils and sores. This goes on for nearly an hour and you start to wonder if they'd decided to make a war movie initially, and that the experiment plot was added in at the 11th hour. There's moral dilemmas thrown in that took too much time and were completely unnecessary. When they finally get to the lab, there's a few suitably nasty failed experiments and some daring escapes and gunfights, but nowhere near enough for a movie that was being sold as it was. 

 

The cast are mostly fine but don't seem to have a great deal of chemistry. There's a few good uses of practical effects but the CGI blood undoes some of this good work. The makeup on one character was very well done but the person in question was ridiculous at that point, as the film descended into monster versus monster. I was really disappointed with this. It had its moments and there was certainly potential there, but too much time was wasted, and compared to the amount of violence and failed experiments in Frankenstein's Army, this fell way short. There seemed to have been hints the gore was toned down, I remember initial reviews all but labelling it as a splatterfest. There were also at least two too many sequences when someone is about to be killed, and is save by another showing up in the background at the last second. 

 

Some good moments but overall a picture that wasted much of its potential trying to figure out what it wanted to be. And when it finally decided, it felt almost embarrassed by what it had become. 

 

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2 hours ago, kerraig UK said:


Memories of Murder is probably out and out my favourite Asian thriller too, aside from obvious crowd pleasers like Hard Boiled and OldBoy.

I always bang on about it, but have you seen A Hard Day, Soldier?

 

I haven't but that's on the watchlist for tomorrow along with a rewatch of Come and See and this:

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Goose said:

Red Alert is a cracking movie, I remember seeing it as a kid and being terrified. 

 

Finally got round to seeing something new, and one I'd been looking forward to. Alas.

 

Overlord (2018)

 

 [REVIEW]

 

 

Very solid and fair review. I felt the opening section was one of the best action openings of recent times, right up until:

 

The landmine going off[/spoilers]

 

And then it just rapidly descents into B movie silliness. Its okay and scratches a daft drunken itch.

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4 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

 

Memories is still the best outright Asian crime/drama/mystery film I've seen. Its absolutely phenomenal. Mother is real good but is a slight step down on Memories and Burning.

 

This is leaving aside stuff like Cure, I Saw The Devil, Confessions, The Man From Nowhere (my avatar :wub: this film so so much), Cold Fish, The Handmaiden etc

 

Breaks my heart Won Bin has basically retired. Had the world at his feet after TMFN.  Been 9 years since his last film.

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2 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

 

I haven't but that's on the watchlist for tomorrow along with a rewatch of Come and See and this:

 

 


A Hard Day is a crowd pleaser. It's nothing but a very clever and fun twister turner. There's no deep dark underbelly or hidden meaning. It's a fable. An asian cousin to The Usual Suspects or Fargo. 

It stuck in my craw though. I can't let it go. It's so perfectly engineered and so lovingly crafted. It avoids those weird tangents that a lot of Korean Thrillers seem so hung up on and it doesn't dilly dally. It sticks to a formula and presents a near perfect showing of the 'cop thriller' genre. 

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Watched The spy who dumped me while pleasantly drunk. Predictable but funny although the last half hour pushes it bit too far...not a patch on Spy.

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47 minutes ago, Gord said:

Watched The spy who dumped me while pleasantly drunk. Predictable but funny although the last half hour pushes it bit too far...not a patch on Spy.

I saw it in the cinema, I love both the leads and it has one or two funny lines but I thought it was fucking awful

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The Guilty - Outstanding Danish thriller/drama about a cop who, while under investigation, is stuck taking phones for Emergency dispatch. One particular call draws him in and it all unfolds from there. Filled with emotion, a cracking performance from Jakob Cedergren and fantastic writing. Real good way to spend 80 minutes.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6742252/

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These Final Hours (2014)

 

James is a troubled young man on a mission. He's desperate to join his girlfriend Vicky at the 'party to end all parties' and numb any feelings as the world comes to an end. On his journey however, James is greeted by a lawless and chaotic city, facing a cataclysmic event that will end life on the planet, and he discovers that getting to where he needs to be will not be easy. Along the way, he saves the life of a girl named Rose, frantically searching for her father. Out of options, James invites Rose to join him. Together they discover how they would truly like to spend their last moments on Earth in this world gone mad.

 

Ha, the IMDB blurb actually says "in a world gone mad". Didn't Terry Pratchet take the piss out of that trope?

 

I'm a sucker for a post apocalyptic world. I think that's why I like zombie films, it's the end of the world thing, not the horror thing. And this is a good one.

 

When we're introduced to Jimmy, he's abandoning a girlfriend to die alone from a world killing asteroid strike that has already wiped out the Northern hemisphere so he can hook up with another girlfriend at an end of world party. It's made clear that he's an arsehole, essentially. He runs into trouble along the way and, against his judgement, rescues a young girl from a couple of paedophiles. The rest of the film is Jimmy's journey, literally and figuratively, to the end of the world.

 

I really liked this. A lot. It's well shot, the music is great as is the acting - child actors can be hit and miss, but the girl who plays Rose is a great actress. The way it sets the scene and explores the differing reactions to impending death is remarkably effective and it's surprisingly poignant in places. A lot of places.

 

What is it with Australians and running out of petrol, though?

 

Just a great film all round, I thought.

 

5/5 for me

 

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On 10/02/2019 at 01:08, Dark Soldier said:

 

Memories is still the best outright Asian crime/drama/mystery film I've seen. Its absolutely phenomenal. Mother is real good but is a slight step down on Memories and Burning.

 

This is leaving aside stuff like Cure, I Saw The Devil, Confessions, The Man From Nowhere (my avatar :wub: this film so so much), Cold Fish, The Handmaiden etc

Watched Memories Of Murder last night. You wern't wrong, absolutely fantastic film. Will do The Man From Nowhere next.

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10 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

These Final Hours (2014)

 

I really enjoyed this, too. For obvious reasons there's something particularly fascinating about end-of-the-world stories. Especially ones that aren't post-apocalyptic, 'people still around but the world's fucked', but rather 'planet Earth isn't here anymore' stuff. Have you seen Melancholia? It's half about depression and half about the end of the world (in a greatly reduced nutshell). There's a moment in that film that's so elementally chilling I still ponder it years later. It's quite a unique take on the idea in that you never see the world at large, just what's going on in this isolated country house with a handful of people.

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There's another great Australian end-of-the-world film that came out the same year as 'These Final Hours' called 'The Rover'. Made by the same guy who made Animal Kingdom, Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson are fantastic in it. Definitely worth watching if you're after more of the same. 

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Border:

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5501104/

 

A female customs officer with the capability to smell fear becomes intrigued by an odd fellow whilst her every day work leads her down a dark path. Its a highly original film, allowed to breathe by the director and cinematographer. Eva Melander's performance is extraordinary, completely morphed by prosthetics and carry an Ungodly weight  on her shoulders.

 

Don't watch a trailer, don't read any reviews. Its unlike anything you've seen before.

 

On a side-note, I've now watched five outstanding, completely different films in a row and it reiterates just how much I love this medium.

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1 hour ago, Dark Soldier said:

Border:

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5501104/

 

A female customs officer with the capability to smell fear becomes intrigued by an odd fellow whilst her every day work leads her down a dark path. Its a highly original film, allowed to breathe by the director and cinematographer. Eva Melander's performance is extraordinary, completely morphed by prosthetics and carry an Ungodly weight  on her shoulders.

 

Don't watch a trailer, don't read any reviews. Its unlike anything you've seen before.

 

On a side-note, I've now watched five outstanding, completely different films in a row and it reiterates just how much I love this medium.

Oooooh. This is based on a brilliant Lindqvist short story. Had no idea it was being filmed. Will get hold of this as soon as I can. :)

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4 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

Border:

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5501104/

 

A female customs officer with the capability to smell fear becomes intrigued by an odd fellow whilst her every day work leads her down a dark path. Its a highly original film, allowed to breathe by the director and cinematographer. Eva Melander's performance is extraordinary, completely morphed by prosthetics and carry an Ungodly weight  on her shoulders.

 

Don't watch a trailer, don't read any reviews. Its unlike anything you've seen before.

 

On a side-note, I've now watched five outstanding, completely different films in a row and it reiterates just how much I love this medium.

Well thats going straight on the list. Thankyou

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