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Rate the last film you watched out of 5


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The Sting 

 

I hadn’t seen this in years, it’s an absolute gem of a film. It’s also easy to forget just how big a film this was, bringing in the adjusted equivalent of nearly $1bn. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are so easy to watch, Robert Shaw is great as the villain, the rest of the cast are so good. It’s on Netflix, so watch it.

 

5/5

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8 hours ago, gone fishin said:

The Sting 

 

I hadn’t seen this in years, it’s an absolute gem of a film. It’s also easy to forget just how big a film this was, bringing in the adjusted equivalent of nearly $1bn. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are so easy to watch, Robert Shaw is great as the villain, the rest of the cast are so good. It’s on Netflix, so watch it.

 

5/5


Nice one, I can remember my family talking about The Sting when it was on at the pictures when I was a little kid, I’ve always meant to see it.

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14 hours ago, Festoon said:

Really? I thought it flowed better than the first.

Admittedly, I watched the first half late Friday evening while rather drunk, then watched the second half yesterday. I found the first half meandered a bit ... but I was drunk. :lol:

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Seeing The Sting mentioned reminds me that I really need to stick up my last few months' worth of films (as, by some quirk of fate, I watched it in September, immediately after my last-reviewed film, Starcrash. Spoilers: it's better than Starcrash). I don't want gunk up the thread with seven reviews in one post, so I'll just stick with the films from the end of September for now:

 

The Sting

Somehow I'd never heard of this, despite — as mentioned above — it doing absolute gangbusters at release. It... was perfectly good fun? Paul Newman and Robert Redford are clearly having a great time, and are as watchable as always. The wildly anachronistic soundtrack is certainly a choice, but the whole things rattles along at a good pace, never dragging, and features a suitably unsympathetic villain.

 

That said, thanks to the actors chosen for these fatalistic buddy roles, I spent the whole film feeling like I was watching a version of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid minus all its social commentary and bite — which made a lot more sense when I realised it was also a George Roy Hill piece. It also suffers for being watched many years late, I fear; if I'd never seen a heist movie before I'm sure it'd have been a lot more exciting, but the whole thing builds towards two extremely predictable twists, which undermined its ending a little.

 

Still, despite suffering by comparison to its director's previous output and its genre's oversaturation, it remains an entirely enjoyable and well cast movie; a solid 3/5

 

The Big Short

More money-making, albeit with a little more grim reality added to the proceedings. I'd avoided this at the time, largely down to the subject matter being so damned depressing. To my pleasant surprise, then, this film is actually very engaging and entertaining, despite its subject matter. Benefits from a cast playing entirely to their strengths, and one of the few representations of a neurodivergent person that I actually felt was reasonably authentic. I'm not entirely sure how I felt about the occasional fourth-wall breaking, but ultimately I think it helped to keep the mood relatively light, which was probably to the film's benefit.

 

An entertaining movie that left me enraged, despite presenting to me only information I already knew, so it was clearly doing something right. 4/5

 

The Girl with a Bracelet

A (predominantly courtroom) drama about a girl who may, or may not, have murdered her friend. The focus is very much on whether the way the accused acts is in line with societal expectations or not, and how that impacts the way she is in turn judged, all as a means to get us to consider what expectations are placed upon girls, and how they are treated should they diverge from those expectations. It's an affecting work; my main surprise is that, having watched it and then read some reviews of it, there's seemingly been a distinct lack of parallels drawn (in the English language press, at least) between it and Camus' l'Etranger, to which it very clearly owes a deep debt of influence.

 

I did find it a little didactic, and it feels likely to largely serve to preach to the converted; though perhaps given it's tackling a subject I've put a reasonable amount of study into, and that it's core market would be France and Belgium, whose societies are even more gendered than ours, I'm being a little unfair in criticising it thus.

 

Still, I found it compelling and thought-provoking, and the whole thing was pleasingly naturalistically acted. Would recommend; 3/5

 

Gosford Park

I watched this for the first time in July, and quite liked it. It turns out, watching it a second time (I had family visiting who'd not seen it) heightens the experience. Further cementing this whodunnit as one where the who and the how are far less interesting than the simple being of the entire set of characters populating the film, is the fact that watching it freed of any curiosity about the murder allowed me to pay more attention to the behaviour, relationships, mannerisms filling every scene, and come away with an even richer experience than the first time.


Still a masterpiece, 5/5

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Downhill (1927)

 

Hitchcock Filmography Challenge - 4/53

(this is the slowest challenge ever 😆)

When I saw the next film on my Hitchcock challenge was another team up with Ivan Novello, I was very excited as I really enjoyed The Lodger. Surely, these two together would strike gold again...?

Unfortunately not and instead what I got was a rather dull, turgid and overly long film about a character I struggled to get behind. How much do I care about this rich public-school boy and the stupid choices he makes? Not a lot.

There are some clear directing skills on show as you see some of Hitchcock’s style come through in places. I particularly liked the delirium scene towards the end and the use of space throughout.

Novello also shines in the lead role and proves again why he's a fantastic leading man of silent film with wonderful facial expressions and eyes that tell so much.

But unfortunately, that's about it on the enjoyment side because with a story being this poor and boring, no amount of good directing, cinematography, clean restoration and acting can save it.

I also think I would have liked some more title cards throughout too as it often felt like one to one dialogue scenes would drag on for ages before anything was put up on screen.

Next up, The Farmer's Wife (1928)

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Savages - Netflix

 

I’ve been meaning to watch this for ages but the lukewarm reception always put me off. Turns out the reviews and IMDb ratings are too generous if anything. It’s a complete waste of time. Hard to believe this vacuous tripe is from the guy that gave us Platoon and Natural Born Killers. Insipid, throwaway lead characters, terrible writing and some really irritating editing and direction that’s trying too hard to be all flashy and edgy. Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro do their best but they must have been raging when they saw how this ended up. Raging all the way to the bank.

 

A generous 1/5. 
 

The Equalizer - Prime

 

This on the other hand, was good fun. Denzel as a retired badass doing his revenge/justice thing against the Russian mob. Pretty standard stuff plot wise, but done well. It features some great action sequences and it’s pleasingly violent. Looking forward to watching the next one.

 

3.5 Ewar Woowar’s out of 5
 

 

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18 hours ago, Stigweard said:

Downhill (1927)

 

Hitchcock Filmography Challenge - 4/53

(this is the slowest challenge ever 😆)

When I saw the next film on my Hitchcock challenge was another team up with Ivan Novello, I was very excited as I really enjoyed The Lodger. Surely, these two together would strike gold again...?

Unfortunately not and instead what I got was a rather dull, turgid and overly long film about a character I struggled to get behind. How much do I care about this rich public-school boy and the stupid choices he makes? Not a lot.

There are some clear directing skills on show as you see some of Hitchcock’s style come through in places. I particularly liked the delirium scene towards the end and the use of space throughout.

Novello also shines in the lead role and proves again why he's a fantastic leading man of silent film with wonderful facial expressions and eyes that tell so much.

But unfortunately, that's about it on the enjoyment side because with a story being this poor and boring, no amount of good directing, cinematography, clean restoration and acting can save it.

I also think I would have liked some more title cards throughout too as it often felt like one to one dialogue scenes would drag on for ages before anything was put up on screen.

Next up, The Farmer's Wife (1928)

How are you seeing these early Hitchcock films if you don't mind my asking? Are they readily available somewhere?

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Top Gun Maverick - 4K Blu-Ray

 

Not a fan really of the original - it's alright, a camp classic I suppose - but this sequel was really good and entertaining. It starts off like it's never left, it instantly feels like you are back in the 80's again - yellow sun tinged slo-mos of US Navy personnel high-fiving each other and punching the air when a plane takes off or lands.

 

The originals "climax" was very light on detail - "the Migs are the bad guys OK?, shut up and don't worry about it" - and this one has a similar feel right from the start - we have a mission, we aren't telling you where or indeed who the enemy are - but we must stop them. A ploy here, the enemy are faceless and soulless, but they must be stopped - and in turn it means we can sell this film to any country in the world without the fear of anyone being offended by it - clever stuff

 

The actual action is amazingly well directed and edited together, everything was explained and at no point was I lost in what was going on - can be a rare feat in action films when they try and get too clever with too many variables and deviations on the plot. Keeping it simple really works here but that doesn't mean you feel short changed.

 

Given the amount of real flying shots used you can imagine Tom being an absolute unbearable arse on-set I reckon.

 

4K Blu-Ray in Dolby Vision is superb, top tier demo stuff here - loads of IMAX shots - I don't know why they didn't shoot the whole film in it to be honest

 

4 ripped Miles Teller's out of 5 (HOW RIPPED WAS HE!)

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Barbarian

 

This is great until the last 15 minutes when it feels like the writer and director suddenly lost 40 IQ points. Despite that I still found it completely engrossing and compelling. Definitely worth a watch if you prefer suspense to gore.

 

4/5

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Summer of Soul - 3/5 (Disney+)

 

A really enjoyable watch. Focuses on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which happened the same year as Woodstock but never gained a widespread cultural presence, (no) thanks to much of the 40 hours of footage being hidden away in a basement. 


More of a concert film than a documentary, although there is enough editorial comment about the era, and some of the performances are truly electric. Stevie Wonder in his pomp is worth watching alone, but also a righteously angry Nina Simone is a powerful inclusion.

 

(#865)

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All Quiet on the Western Front - Netflix

 

A powerful piece of filmmaking, they don’t make ‘em like this any more. It looks and sounds so rich and lavish, which only serves to make its content all the more harrowing. As poignant a message now as ever, it really makes it hit home that nothing has changed in the intervening century. 
 

5/5

 

The Equalizer 2 - Prime

 

Basically Commando, with Denzel playing Bennett. Its decent. Largely more of the same but a bit too long and not quite as good. There’s a reveal you’ve seen a hundred times before and some proper cheesy moments, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing in an action movie of course. Worth watching if you liked the first one. Still violent.

 

3/5

 

 

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Coppers (1988)

Tim Roth plays a strange young man with an unhealthy obsession for acting as a police officer in this BBC drama. He convinces illiterate builder Reece Dinsdale to accompany him on nocturnal patrols, managing to fool most people including the police themselves. Very simple story, it's more an excuse for Roth to put in an eerily convincing performance as the committed, audacious fantasist. Like a more laid-back and lower-budget Nightcrawler. 

 

3/5

 

 

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Mindcage - 1/5 (work screener)

 

John Malkovich and Martin Lawrence together at last! The sub-par crime thriller about a copycat serial killer is laughably bad, feeling stretched even at 96 minutes. And the ‘twist’ at the end is one of the best unintentionally comic moments of the year.

 

Guess it might pop up on Prime soon. But I couldn’t recommend it, unless you’re doing something stupid like watching 1,000 films in a year.

 

(#872)

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The African Desperate - 4/5 (MUBI)

 

I loved this film! Diamond Stingily (daughter of Chicago house legend Byron Stingily!) plays Palace Bryant, a woman who just gained her MA at art college and is due to fly back home to Chicago tomorrow. But first she is going to celebrate. Maybe.

 

 

This is such a funny film, really fresh and with a charming feel. It’s chock full of unashamedly cute devices (even artifices) that mark it as separate from most movies you see, and it’s got a silly serious tone that will either bore or annoy the hell out of many people. Amazing soundtrack too!

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Gamera vs. Barugon (2/5) One of the better ones considering it's age (1966).

 

Black Adam (1/5) Christ, even the (non) surprise spoiler could save this movie. 

 

Poker Face (1/5) Couple of familiar faces in this Crowe & Rza, but god was it a load of rubbish. I'm pretty sure either I dozed off because it was late or there's a big chunk of story missing. 

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2 hours ago, Jamie John said:

Blade Runner (1982) - 4K UHD Blu Ray

 

image.thumb.png.390348b23e55cd6431a079db7a14d28f.png

 

It turns out that Blade Runner is a masterpiece - who knew?!

 

Possibly my favourite film. The 4K render is sumptuous. After watching Alien again a couple of weeks back, as brilliant as it is, I just think the ambiguity and moodiness of this makes it Scott's magnum opus. Countless other films have tried to imitate its visual style, but none of them have been able to emulate its tone or atmosphere. I really do think its singular in that respect. It's just so weird, even now, forty years on. So much of it is unexplained and unseen, obscured in the shadows.

 

Fantastic.

 

5/5

 

That screenshot above alone. Stunning.

 

Edit: Just LOOK AT IT. Astonishingly beautiful.

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