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Skate Kitchen

 

Docudrama - they found a bunch of real NY skaters and made kind of a coming of age drama. I really liked this. It follows a basic structure but pays lip service to all of it (the ‘climax’ delivered by text made me smile). It knows its strength is the natural (cos they aren’t actors) performances, the camaraderie, the inane barely scripted dialogue (actually a compliment cos nothing contrived about it), the charisma, the skating, the lighting and the city. Comparisons are hard - Lost in Translation maybe comes closest but only very loosely. It’s like when I used to stick Test Drive Unlimited in the 360 and just cruise admiring everything, no rush, no pressure. Really good.

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Riot (1996)

An SAS major is sent into a riot zone to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the British ambassador. PM Entertainment goes "urban". You're not watching this for plot or character development, or indeed any broad-range acting, this is action, and you get plenty of it in this on-street story that at times feels like Walter Hill's classic The Warriors mixed with Judgement Night. Whilst Gary Daniels' acting ability isn't exactly stellar he looks the part and kicks arse, a believable if C-class action star. Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard doesn't disgrace himself either, with a memorable bar fight at the start of the film. This is later-era PM and by this point they had the formula down, although it has got to the point where if you've seen a few you know what you're getting. Mind you, it's not short of spectacle and laugh-out-loud silliness. I mean you get a man on fire riding a motorbike, what's not to like? Clumsy Brits-vs-IRA motivation - "we're not in Dublin now!". Not the best PM Entertainment flick I've seen, you'd have to go some way to beat Rage, but solid entertainment.

 

And you that sold you....

 

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Cecil B Demented

 

First time I've watched this in 10 years. Watch this for the myriad of quotable lines ("Tell me about Mel Gibson's goddam cock and balls"; "I'm ashamed of my heterosexuality"), the sets which are Wes Anderson before he started making ambitious cutaways or the soundtrack.

 

It's a goddam masterpiece unless you hate John Waters.

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I rented Sicario 2: Soldado, it was way down my Cinema Paradiso list but I guess nothing else was available

 

TBH I couldn't even finish it. I wasn't really a fan of the first one, it was like Clear and Present Danger with all the fun sucked out of it, this even more so - scene after scene after scene lifted straight from a much better film

 

Initially it made me think of the kind of shit Chuck Norris did in the 80s, I couldn't really tell what the politics were supposed to be, but then later on there was a bit of a rant about the president so who knows

 

What it reinforced with the music was that you could run that same ridiculously melodramatic plunging bass note that so bored me in the first one over an episode of Sooty and it'd take on a different feel. Doesn't mean it has substance or anything to say.

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'Green Book' - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6966692/

Quote

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

 

I'd put off watching this for a bit given all the negative publicity surrounding but you know what, this is pretty good. Yes, it's another film about a white guy learning a lesson about racism but it's very enjoyable and there's just as much focus on class and the inherent bias that accompanies that as there is on racism. A solid 7/10.

'Destroyer' - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7137380/

Quote

A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.


Ah man, I really wanted to like this more than I did. It should tick all my boxes; an interesting story, broken cop with a family wrecked by her job, a charismatic criminal/cult leader who resurfaces after decades away and some fine actors really grafting for that Oscar nom (Kidman's makeover is almost too OTT at times; she looks like shit the entire film, literally dirty for the most part. I actually found the flash-backs where she's playing a 20yr old more impressive, given that she's 52.) Sebastian Stan continues to prove he's a fine actor when he's not playing Bucky in the Marvel films and most of the other supporting parts are fine too. It looks good, the score is suitably atmospheric and while there is little action, when it comes it grounded and appropriate to the tone. But it just somehow never comes together into something more than Fine. A shame.

'If Beale Street Could Talk' - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7125860/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

 

Quote

A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.


A beautifully shot, beautifully scored story of true love and injustice that might just be the best thing I've watched this year. Sometimes slow and practically screaming that "this is an adaptation of a book, you know!" at every turn, this nonetheless manages to be genuinely affecting and engaging thanks to the sterling work from all involved, not just the two leads. 
There's not much more to the story than what is laid out in the synopsis above and that's fine, it doesn't need to be. I've yet to see 'Moonlight', the forst film by Barry Jenkins but will be seeking it out as a priority after this. 

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If Beale Street Could Talk is the best film I've seen for years, it left me in pieces for hours afterwards. I've tried to write a post about it several times but I can't put it into words. It's wonderful.

 

The soundtrack from Nicholas Britell is the best I've heard since Mica Levi's Under The Skin score.

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Destroyer felt like a missed opportunity for me too. Kidman was excellent and there were a couple of nice plot-swerves but it didn't hang together. The daughter sub-plot was trash.
 

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I thought Beale Street was a superbly made film, but as with Moonlight I found it very difficult to warm to. His films just leave me a bit cold, and I can't see myself ever rewatching them.

 

I can see why people love them though.

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First Reformed - expected it to be really powerful, just found it dull and preachy. Started thinking there is a far more interesting story to be had in the minute chemical balance in the brain between depression and joy. But more than anything as a movie it didnt achieve what the video for Just did more than 20 years ago. Is that a leap? The events of Just are never explained but to me it was the power of (unheard) words to immobilise others. The lack of action as a result even more terrifying a thought than the predictable imagery this put forth. 

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13 hours ago, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

The soundtrack from Nicholas Britell is the best I've heard since Mica Levi's Under The Skin score.

 

I have not heard of the film but now I really need to hear the score...

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22 hours ago, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

The soundtrack from Nicholas Britell is the best I've heard since Mica Levi's Under The Skin score.

 

This piqued my interest so I listened last night. Beautiful stuff, put me in mind of both Herrmann and Morricone scores at times.

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Wild Rose

 

Jailbird mum of two dreams of escaping Glasgow and her life to be a Country star

 

I had every reason to be scared of this. Watching Scottish people on screen has its own sense of the Uncanny Valley, even when they are actually Scottish. Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters are not Scottish. Very early in the movie the word 'bawbag' is uttered. It reeks of patronising, insufferable, media friendly, whacky old 'Glasgae' as seen through the horn-rimmed spectacles of Old Compton Street.

 

There's also plenty in the movie that's just plain fucking wrong. Buses going from Stirling to Glasgow do not, at any point, pass the sea. Jail is not a friendly place. But the crucial one - 'who ever heard of a Country star from Glasgow'? Fuck's sake Bob Harris, how could you go along with this?

 

Country music is inedibly woven into the place. I grew up listening to a cunt called Frank Skerrit on BBC Radio Scotland, our own Whispering Bob (actually sounded more like he was talking with one of those holes in his throat smokers have), my dad would have nothing else. Sidney Devine, a legend. Ricky Ross, Marti Pellow, Sharleen Spiteri - whoever heard of a Country singer from Glasgow, indeed. What bawbag wrote this? (Damn)

 

It also commits that unforgivable sin, in my book anyway, of being nostalgic about Glasgow. About how no matter where you go in the world, the city will draw you back. Which to me is the stuff of nightmares. 

 

For all that, this is an absolutely fucking glorious experience. It's there in the music. I went on a road trip straight after college, three weeks with some friends. I don't know why we took in a stop at Nashville and Memphis, but the place amazed me, talent the like you've never heard playing for tips in every bar.

 

I've seen A Star Is Born twice and just been blasted back in my seat by the sheer power of those songs and I was worried in early scenes this would come off a piss poor copy, a Scotmid-own brand embarrassment, but I needn't have worried. There are a number of cracking numbers and while it unashamedly ticks off every feel good trope in the book, it just fucking works.

 

Aside from the music, it is a winning central performance. A number of laugh out loud moments, especially an authentically Glaswegian utter lack of tact when pitching her wonderfully clueless mentor for money. Having an elder sister who too is red haired, completely mental, selfish, leans on her mum for childcare, but staggeringly musically talented (and has also played Celtic Connections), but also memorably took a trip to London to see me and was so overwhelmed by the place she was on the train home before I even finished work, I felt unexpectedly emotionally gripped at times with a need to see her. 

 

I'm already feeling spoiled this year with a number of cracking movies, really glad to add this to the list. Hoots och aye and all that.

...

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Black Water (2018)

A man finds he is imprisoned in a CIA black site aboard a submarine.  It's yer usual straight-to-streaming "action" starring old hands, in this case Jean Claude Van Damme and Dulph Lundgren, slightly over-complex plot, lots of earnest talk about black sites, packages, renditions and other military-industrial guff, yet it's all a pretty simple cat-and-mouse game aboard what looks like the largest submarine ever. And like a lot of these kind of films it is underwhelming, the action isn't thrilling, the tension isn't tense, the intrigue not that essential. So what you're left with is a technically-competent yet eminently unremarkable watch. In fact I literally awoke to find the film had finished, that's how thrilling this was.

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30,000 Leagues Under The Sea (2007)

When a nuclear sub goes missing, a rescue mission is launched, but soon the stakes vastly increase. "Based on the novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne" states the caption at the beginning of the end credits, and seeing as this is The Asylum you can bet it's the loosest adaptation. The Nautilus on this version is a huge underwater cruise ship, basically, and Captain Nemo the genial host with a dark twist. Atlantis, sea monsters and imminent nuclear devastation are all on the menu in this admittedly lesser Asylum production. It retains the sense of fun and absurdity you'd expect, complete with acceptable CGI, acting and direction. There's not much more to say other than this is The Asylum, that's all you need to know.

 

 

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6 hours ago, linkster said:

Didn't know where else to put this but the highly amusing Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is showing on Film 4 on Thursday 18th

Um, maybe in the thread?

 

oh you did already. Apologies. 

Edited by cassidy

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2 minutes ago, linkster said:

I did find the thread as an afterthought. It’s tiny tho.

I realised and edited just a millisecond before you replied. 

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On 03/02/2018 at 11:44, Goose said:

Braven (2018)

 

Joe Braven runs the family-owned logging business, which he inherited when his father took a fall a year earlier. His father now lives with Joe and his family, and is showing the onset of dementia. Knowing they will need help to take care of him, the two take a trip up to their cabin in the woods so Joe can broach the subject with his dad. However, unbeknown to them, the cabin is being used to store a consignment of drugs - and the owners are about to show up to claim it. 

 

This was a good, small scale thriller that only lost its way toward the very end. Jason Momoa plays the tough but loving Joe, while Stephen Lang plays his father. The pair have decent chemistry, in a grizzled father/grizzled son kind of way. The film takes its time to build up the family bond between them all, giving the stakes later much more weight. The scenery makes for a very impressive co-star, with snow capped peaks, cold woods and a near freezing ocean. When the dealers finally show up, a siege mentality takes over, made all the more tense by the arrival of another family member. 

 

The action is handled pretty well, and it's kept fairly low key until the last 20 minutes. Joe is a mountain of a man but he's not a fighter. It made an interesting dynamic in the action scenes because you kept expecting him to dominate any fight he got into, and yet he didn't. That again gave each battle much more levity - especially when he seemed to be up against ex-military people. The villains were generally interchangeable and the lead, while being cold and vicious, lacked charisma. The tension continued to mount as the situation got more desperate as casualties were taken on both sides. Momoa played the part well, roping in his over the top nature. Lang too played a good part as the dad struggling to exist in a confusing world.

 

I'd read this was back to 80s style action but to be honest, I thought that was someway from what this turned out to be. Momoa took plenty of beatings, barely getting out with his life on more than one occasion. As mentioned, the picture stumbled as the ending approached, with Joe turning the cabin into a Home Alone scenario for a couple of kills. It just didn't seem to sit right with the stark action that had come before and made things feel rushed. The final climatic battle was also a little gimmicky in its effort to buck what you thought was going to happen. That said, these are minor quibbles in what was a good thriller, in a stunning location.

I started watching this on Now TV last night after hearing it was okay. After about 40 minutes I had to stop it and google whether it was produced by Carhartt and sure enough it was. It's pretty damn shameless, everyone has the logo on them :lol: I didn't bother with the rest.

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Wild Rose (2019)

 

A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

 

Nearly gave this a miss, as I’m no fan of country music. Glad I didn’t though, as I found it really enjoyable and moving. I mainly wanted to see this because of Jessie Buckley. I was blown away by her in the telly show I’d Do Anything about 10 years ago. It was one of those silly singing contest shows, but she absolutely shone out above everyone else, and it was a travesty that she didn’t win. She gives an absolute tour de force performance of in this, totally living up to that early promise. I genuinely think it’s a star making performance.

 

Both Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo are also great in the supporting roles. The story is fairly standard fare, but it’s well put together and pushed all the right buttons for me.

 

4/5

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I'm really looking forward to seeing Wild Rose. I just can't get out to see it at the moment. Got some of the songs in my Spotify playlist now though. It's a decent enough album. 

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On 12/04/2019 at 21:59, linkster said:

Wild Rose

 

Jailbird mum of two dreams of escaping Glasgow and her life to be a Country star

 

I had every reason to be scared of this. Watching Scottish people on screen has its own sense of the Uncanny Valley, even when they are actually Scottish. Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters are not Scottish. Very early in the movie the word 'bawbag' is uttered. It reeks of patronising, insufferable, media friendly, whacky old 'Glasgae' as seen through the horn-rimmed spectacles of Old Compton Street.

 

There's also plenty in the movie that's just plain fucking wrong. Buses going from Stirling to Glasgow do not, at any point, pass the sea. Jail is not a friendly place. But the crucial one - 'who ever heard of a Country star from Glasgow'? Fuck's sake Bob Harris, how could you go along with this?

 

Country music is inedibly woven into the place. I grew up listening to a cunt called Frank Skerrit on BBC Radio Scotland, our own Whispering Bob (actually sounded more like he was talking with one of those holes in his throat smokers have), my dad would have nothing else. Sidney Devine, a legend. Ricky Ross, Marti Pellow, Sharleen Spiteri - whoever heard of a Country singer from Glasgow, indeed. What bawbag wrote this? (Damn)

 

It also commits that unforgivable sin, in my book anyway, of being nostalgic about Glasgow. About how no matter where you go in the world, the city will draw you back. Which to me is the stuff of nightmares. 

 

For all that, this is an absolutely fucking glorious experience. It's there in the music. I went on a road trip straight after college, three weeks with some friends. I don't know why we took in a stop at Nashville and Memphis, but the place amazed me, talent the like you've never heard playing for tips in every bar.

 

I've seen A Star Is Born twice and just been blasted back in my seat by the sheer power of those songs and I was worried in early scenes this would come off a piss poor copy, a Scotmid-own brand embarrassment, but I needn't have worried. There are a number of cracking numbers and while it unashamedly ticks off every feel good trope in the book, it just fucking works.

 

Aside from the music, it is a winning central performance. A number of laugh out loud moments, especially an authentically Glaswegian utter lack of tact when pitching her wonderfully clueless mentor for money. Having an elder sister who too is red haired, completely mental, selfish, leans on her mum for childcare, but staggeringly musically talented (and has also played Celtic Connections), but also memorably took a trip to London to see me and was so overwhelmed by the place she was on the train home before I even finished work, I felt unexpectedly emotionally gripped at times with a need to see her. 

 

I'm already feeling spoiled this year with a number of cracking movies, really glad to add this to the list. Hoots och aye and all that.

...

How did you find the accents from Buckley and Walters? Heard some criticism of them, but wouldn’t know myself not being Scottish.

 

Also, that scene with the birthday candle just destroyed me. Really looking forward to watching this again with my wife.

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4 minutes ago, Bazjam said:

How did you find the accents from Buckley and Walters? Heard some criticism of them, but wouldn’t know myself not being Scottish.

 

Also, that scene with the birthday candle just destroyed me. Really looking forward to watching this again with my wife.

Julie Walters was frankly Julie Walters doing a bit of an accent. She's a legend so I wouldn't be too mean to her but she was just utterly wrong as a west coast mum of that class, there was nothing authentic about her accent, mannerisms, outlook on life. She was basically a younger version of the housekeeper she plays in Paddington.

 

Buckley initially was quite awkward and wooden but I bought it over time, like Walters it's not just the accent, it's a type of character, you probably know this if you watch Still Game or shows like that which really nail the people. The thing is she was too 'humble' for someone like that, I know that sounds a bit silly as she was quite in your face as a character but it was still a very 'cinema' version of it

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I thought they were both great in this. But on the whole, I always find that actors tend to give their best performances when using their own accents.

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1 minute ago, Bazjam said:

I thought they were both great in this. But on the whole, I always find that actors tend to give their best performances when using their own accents.

Hard to tell isn't it. I thought Idris Elba never came close to equalling Stringer Bell but I'm not from Baltimore.

 

I loved the movie, I think it could have taken place in pretty much any region of the UK, that was the distracting thing, it wasn't authentically Glaswegian

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Guess some actors are less hindered by it than others, and Stringer Bell is a great example. I always think of Ewan McGregor. He seems to be twice the actor when he doesn’t have to do an accent.

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I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1976)

A cleaner at a sex research institute creates a sonic aphrodisiac that causes anyone nearby to go sex-mad. Admirably dreadful 70s British sex comedy starring seasoned TV actor Barry Andrews as the constantly-misnamed John Pigeon, trying his best to woo his boss's PA using his special device. It's difficult to watch this without having to imagine the time it came from, where the tame bawdy comedy of the Carry On films was increasingly seen as old hat, and attitudes were changing (the producers would try and bring the series up to date with Carry On England). A mixture of limp knob gags and boobs that probably went down a storm with the dirty mac brigade. Whilst it's not hardcore, it wouldn't be suitable for TV. The sex scenes linger that bit too long, and most of the physical comedy is essentially women being sexually assaulted, with a few rape jokes thrown in - "well shut your eyes and think of England". James Booth, Chic Murray and Brian Murphy leer their way through this, probably following direction like "do it again, but less subtle". The most interesting thing for me was the large mainframe computer centre they used as the sex institute. History has forgotten this film for a reason. It's not a great comedy, and this is coming from someone who loves a good double entendre. It's about as sexually-subtle as shoving your hand up a woman's skirt, you'll probably want a shower after watching it. For curiosity value only.

 

 

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

 

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

 

As per the plot description courtesy of IMDB  this does pretty much what is says on the tin while also being a free advertisement for the NZ tourist board. It follows the trials of the two protagonists as one initially gets lost in the bush and the other comes to find him , gets injured and they are declared missing/ kidnapped.   they become fugitives of sorts and a manhunt is declared after an encounter  with some hunters in  one of the huts that dot the NZ outback. The movie becomes a reasonably gentle chase up until the finale where it picks up pace  and despite a few hiccups the ending is suitably upbeat.

 

The main cast are good with the two main actors Sam Neill and Julian Dennison both pretty good and their relationship develops quite nicely over the course of the movie. The strongest point though is the humour running through it, a generally dry, self depreciating NZ wit  that  had me laughing  often during the course of the movie. I used the word gentle in my description of the chase and that's my overall impression of this, it's a nice , gentle  feel good movie that's well worth checking out. I didn't realise that his is 3 years old either, thought it came out last year.

 

4/5

 

Hardcore Henry

Henry is resurrected from death with no memory, and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.

 

An FPS as a movie, complete with powers and upgrades etc, probably the 1st  time it's been done end to end  for an entire movie  and not just that bit in Doom with "The Rock" . To be fair it's a pretty cool gimmick in that movie and probably the standout section in it .  Here though it's constant and after a while the novelty wears off  and you're left with a sub-par plot and Sharlto Copey hamming it up in a number of roles, some of which are better than others. It's also pretty gory and I winced a number of times during it. As the plot is so thin and the gimmick wears off tedium starts to set in as the various aspects of running, jumping and shooting just  turn into a blur. I accidentally set the speed to 1.5 towards the end and it actually improved matters , including the dialogue.

 

In saying that there's some pretty impressive set pieces  and one parkour section was especially well done and quite enjoyable, the novelty  initially was cool and  there's some stuff to like here. probably would have been better as a 30 minute short  as stretched to  over an hour and a half as  mentioned neither the plot or the gimmick can sustain the movie for the full run time.

 

2.5/5

 

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Hardcore Henry was the best movie I saw that year. I expected a gimmick and got some batshit surrealism like a lost Terry Gilliam. Glad to have seen it in the cinema for the full headfuck experience. One of the most underrated movies around and an absolute travesty it got a 1/5 review in Empire given the generic shite they routinely score 4/5.

 

Wilderspeople was mildly cooky but just too generic and dull, paused it one night and didn’t go back.

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