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Pixels

 

Another film I avoided for years because of the reviews. I thought this was great fun and (unlike Wreck iT Ralph) made by people who absolutely love video games. It’s certainly not Vertigo quality or anything, but it was funny, fast paced, authentic feeling and looked fantastic. For me, who lived these video games back in the 80s, this was a real treat. If there’s a 4K version I might have to pick it up.

 

4/5

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26 minutes ago, sandman said:

Pixels

 

Another film I avoided for years because of the reviews. I thought this was great fun and (unlike Wreck iT Ralph) made by people who absolutely love video games. It’s certainly not Vertigo quality or anything, but it was funny, fast paced, authentic feeling and looked fantastic. For me, who lived these video games back in the 80s, this was a real treat. If there’s a 4K version I might have to pick it up.

 

4/5

 

This is trolling, right?

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Little Women 3.5/5

 

Like the other Greta Gerwig films I’ve seen, for me this was very over hyped. It’s fine. Some very good performances, but it’s pretty standard costume drama fare.


Local Hero 3.5/5

 

I very much enjoyed this, but I guess because of its lofty reputation I was expecting more. Will definitely watch it again some time, and can easily imagine my score going up with repeat viewings.

 

 

Raise The Red Lantern 5/5

 

This was right up my street. A fascinating tale of four scheming wife’s of a powerful lord in 1920’s China. I was only familiar with Yimou Zhang’s wuxia movies, so was delighted to see how good one of his earlier films was. Definitely going to check out more now.

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Cop Land - 4/5. I thought it was fantastic for the most part, but while watching it I checked the TV guide and saw that it only had 20 minutes left to run, and he (Stallone) hadn't even started catching the criminals yet! So a fantastic first 3/4, and a rushed final quarter. Great cast though.

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19 minutes ago, Thwomp said:

Cop Land - 4/5. I thought it was fantastic for the most part, but while watching it I checked the TV guide and saw that it only had 20 minutes left to run, and he (Stallone) hadn't even started catching the criminals yet! So a fantastic first 3/4, and a rushed final quarter. Great cast though.

 

Spoiler

I think that's an intended part of the story, rather than a pacing issue in its editing. The corruption is allowed to fester for so long that the eventual standing up to it becomes rushed and unnecessarily bloody.

 

I love that film so much and haven't seen it for ages, so thank you for reminding me about it!

 

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Mulan (2020): Surprisingly good film which is less kiddy focused than one may expect. Not a frame by frame remake (to it's credit) and it's only let down by a slightly saggy final act. Overall still more enjoyable than I would have expected.

 

After watching it I had a look on imdb and there seems to be a disproportionate amount of 1/10 style reviews. Has there been some sort of campaign to mark this down?? Maybe the choice for Disney to stick a premium on it?? 

 

Anyway 4/5 Skulls

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The Matrix - 5/5

 

Still amazing, watching it again and it still feels fresh. Choreography is still amazing. 

 

Shame they don't make action films with this kinda love anymore. 

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On 25/09/2020 at 20:20, sandman said:

Pixels

 

Another film I avoided for years because of the reviews. I thought this was great fun and (unlike Wreck iT Ralph) made by people who absolutely love video games. It’s certainly not Vertigo quality or anything, but it was funny, fast paced, authentic feeling and looked fantastic. For me, who lived these video games back in the 80s, this was a real treat. If there’s a 4K version I might have to pick it up.

 

4/5

No physical 4K, but the 4K stream on Rakuten.tv has Dolby Vision and looks very nice. 

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The Debt Collector 2 (2020)

Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor return in the sequel no-one expected and frankly weren't exactly pumped about, but oh well it's here so let's see if it's any cop. They team up again, collect debt again, their old boss has got them collecting from some likely types including Marina Sirtis and Vernon Wells, except there's something not quite right. Decent enough fights, bit of plot, a couple of twists, but the film largely hangs on the bantz between our two guys, in fact large chunks of it depend on their chemistry, so if you didn't buy it in the first one you'll definitely not in this. Lots of call backs to the original although not enough to stop the casual Netflix viewer enjoying this. And that's the thing, this is very much an easy watch, nothing too taxing, no great shakes. Good fights including an alleyway scrap between the two protagonists reminiscent of the one from They Live. Things heat up towards the end, as they often do with these cheapish efforts. It's not bad but it certainly won't stick in the memory, it's purely entertaining, nothing else. If you liked the first this is worth a watch.

 

3/5

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The Delta Force (1986)

Let's not mess about here, this is a well-directed action film albeit one with questionable politics. I don't want to get too caught up in the motivations of the producers and directors here, this is clearly a very pro-Israeli feature, with Islamic terrorists hijacking a plane, the Delta Force being sent in to save the day, loose canon (or should that be Cannon) Chuck Norris goes beyond the call of duty to kick ass, you know the drill. Extended scene where the terrorists try to single out the Jewish passengers, it goes on for ages. George Kennedy, did you really need to do this? This is often cited as a Chuck Norris classic, yet on reflection he does sod-all here except look steely and do the occasional punching and maybe fire a mini-rocket. Heavy-handed pro-Israeli/US hype, epic feel but feels very much of its time. This was epic when I was a kid in the 80s, age hasn't been kind to it. Despite that it was exciting, with a lot of bang.

 

3/5   

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Barefoot (2014)  - Amazon Prime

 

Remake of a German romantic comedy.  Jake (Scott Speedman) is mopping the floors at an LA psychiatric unit  (run by J.K. Simmons) as part of his last chance probation.   He has a Secret, which is that he's actually from a really wealthy family and has gone off the rails because he wants to feel that he earns his way in life rather than have it given to him on a plate.  He has to go back to them for his brothers wedding and desperate to avoid telling them the truth bullshits that he will bring his girlfriend. At the unit, he bumps into Daisy (Evan Rachel Wood), one of the patients.  She is being admitted because she says that killed her mother, who had kept her in complete isolation for twenty odd years leading to her having no idea how the real world works.  Daisy ends up following him out of the unit, where he decides to pretend that she is his girlfriend.

 

I did, by the way, say romantic comedy.  It's an... interesting... setup - where the power dynamics of the relationship could be incredibly creepy.  The reason it doesn't is because of the writing but mostly Evan Rachel Wood fantastic performance as Daisy - innocent without being childlike, naive without being stupid. big hearted without being sappy.  It is an incredibly tough tightrope to walk and she does it brilliantly.  I can't think of many actresses who could pull it off to be honest.  She's helped out by a good chemistry with Speedman, who also plays a decent guy at heart who ends up facing up to what he really wants to be.

 

Setup aside, the actual intricacies of the plot don't work in the second half. A few subplots and characters are set up which don't get proper resolutions.  It's a rare instance of a film which needs about 20 minutes more to properly develop and payoff the first half - instead there are a couple of very convenient bits and then the characters disappear.

 

However, the cast and writers have their heart in the right place and it gets away with it, thanks to largely to Wood but also the other actors.  Again, it would be an easy copout to have Daisy humiliated in some way in a social setting, but they sensibly treat her as the victim of her circumstance and not some stupid patsy.  There is a brilliant scene between Wood and Simmons - we know that Simmons can be a great, intense presence and Woods brings it out of him in just 30 seconds.  They both really shine.

 

With most romcoms aimed at a female audience, I found that it was a romance from the male point of view and posed an interesting situation.  Instead of the Guy having to overcome something or someone to Earn The Girl, what if the Girl arrived and the Guy could already have from her whatever he wanted... for good and for bad?  You could go to some very dark places with that concept but credit to everyone, this is supposed to be a comedy and you will end up laughing in the right places.

 

So, funny, quirky, flawed.  At 90 minutes, I would recommend sitting down with your loved one and giving it a go.  I don't think that you'll be disappointed.

 

3.5/5

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The Babysitter: Killer Queen

 

Both of these Babysitter films are McG's best work. Damning with faint praise I know, but it's enjoyable fluff with a fun cast (big fan of Robbie Amell in this). It went a little to far into stupid at times though, the "Fighting Game" section was cringe worthy to the extreme, but the time flew by.

 

3/5

 

#Alive

 

Korean zombie film about a a streamer who gets caught in a zombie outbreak. Nice and claustrophobic at times as a lot of the film is just set in this apartment tower block. Really, really enjoyed it. Not quite Train to Busan levels of great, but pretty damn close. I can see Hollywood getting it's greasy mitts on this one.

 

4/5

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Terminator Dark Fate - 3.5/5. 

 

I cried at the cinema. I cried again watching it a second time. 

 

The Terminator films (1 and 2) are part of my childhood. And Arnold looking at them at the end was essentially him saying "That's me done. Goodbye"

 

It's a great action flick. 

 

 

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American Made

 

I'm usually a bit of a Cruise phobic but when he gets the right film he is the best guy for the job. This is one of those films.

 

True life story of a TWA pilot intercepted for some light Cuban cigar smuggling by the CIA who are looking for a pilot for a bit of covert action. Cruise is subsequently hired to fly over various Central and South American countries taking photos (at first) with word from his handler that they will turn a blind eye to any profits he might make on the side. Sure enough he ends up running missions for the CIA (photos, guns, bribes to dictators, whatever) whilst carting cocaine from Columbia to the US on behalf of Escobar and co. 

 

Of course, everything escalates.

 

It's not the most in depth film as it covers a lot of years and a lot of shady CIA ops in its tight sub 2 hour running time but it manages to convey the on the fly madness of the CIA's attempts to influence and control countries as all whilst turning a blind eye to their privateer operators bringing staggering amounts of drugs (and money) back into their country. It's fast paced, has an awesome eighties saturation almost throughout, all the actors are fine, Cruise is really great, and the story is even more astonishing for being based on truth.

 

4/5.

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Bill and ted - face the music

 

Funny first 20 minutes, then, well I don't know. Stupid fun if you're a fan of the original, stupid if you've not see the first two I imagine. 

The ending is sort of lame, there's no big rock and roll anthem to bring it all together at the end and the daughters are sort of irritating after a while.

Its fine, but well ... there wasn't anything quotable that hadn't already been said in the first two films. 

 

Meh really, but I did laugh more than a 6 times. 

 

2.5 historical characters out of 5

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Game Night

 

Comedy where a bunch of people get together for Game Night (including Jason Bateman, Lamorne Morris, Rachel McAdams and the delightful Sharon Horgan). It all goes a bit wrong when the kidnap mystery night that was planned turned into a legitmate kidnap plot. It was quite funny, had some nice twists and turns with a very likeable cast. It's available on Amazon Prime and worth two hours of your life.

 

4/5

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1 hour ago, Gambit said:

Game Night

 

Comedy where a bunch of people get together for Game Night (including Jason Bateman, Lamorne Morris, Rachel McAdams and the delightful Sharon Horgan). It all goes a bit wrong when the kidnap mystery night that was planned turned into a legitmate kidnap plot. It was quite funny, had some nice twists and turns with a very likeable cast. It's available on Amazon Prime and worth two hours of your life.

 

4/5

I thought it was pretty poor over all, but fake Denzel was a proper highlight. Worth watching for that alone.

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3 films starring Williams that I hadn’t seen before 

 

Worlds Greatest Dad

 

Very forward thinking with a very dry sense of humour. Two excellent performances from father and son. I would recommend going in blind. Excellent directing from the crazy dude from the Police Academy films.

 

4/5

 

Man of the Year

 

Another prescient film which apparently didn’t review well. I thought it was very well realised and great fun throughout. Levinson directs with his usual flair and Linney is perfect even if the role doesn’t stretch her at all. Williams also has an easy role, but is also excellent. I can see this film becoming reality in the next 10 years 

 

4/5

 

What Dreams May Come 

 

Vincent Ward is a funny one. Kinda like a poor mans Gilliam. I still think he is most famous for NOT directing Alien 3. This is very good until the final third where it completely runs out of steam. Again, three excellent performances but this time the film doesn’t quite match them. It’s chock full of great ideas and often looks stunning, but it’s a bit too convoluted for it’s own good. 
 

2.5/5

 

 

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The Boys in the Band - 3/5

 

Really enjoyed this, can tell it's based on a play. The bitchy queen's made me laugh and the dialogue was sharp as hell. 

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Sweet Sixteen - 4/5

 

This is a Ken Loach flick from 2000/2001 I think, it’s on All 4. Great film, it’s about a pair of teenagers moving up from selling fags to heroin in Greenock, and how that works out for them.

 

There are few surprises but Loach is in the business of giving you what you expect, if what you expect is some grim cinema verité about life on the margins when you are chasing a dream. The two leads are fantastic.

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On 15/09/2020 at 22:14, Triple A said:

Ralph Breaks The Internet

 

Terrific ideas, amazing visuals, great fun.

Best bit was

  Hide contents

when the Disney princesses were making fun of Disney princess story tropes. Bravo!


 

4


 

Spoiler

Loved their personalised t-shirts/nightshirts.

 

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The Glorias

Could have been a LOT better. Great cast, great photography and great story but not told in a way that gives it enough time to breathe and develop. It feels like they tried to cram too many things in and therefore made everything feel a little less significant than it obviously was. 

 

And the avant garde bits were just weirdly disjointed.

 

3/5

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The Expendables (2010)

Do you recall Carry On Columbus? It was an attempt to recreate the popular British smutty comedy films of the 60s and 70s with a modern twist, it had tons of comedy talent old and new, it had all the innuendos and whatnot, and yet it fell flat, it couldn't quite hit what they were going for. The Expendables is sort of the action equivalent, it too was an attempt to stir nostalgia for the glory days of action, it had a huge roster of action stars big and small including a much-hyped appearance by Arnie who'd been out of the game for a good decade, it had gun fights and explosions and baddies. And yet the combination of ingredients came up short, delivering an admittedly well-directed action film that just felt like it was going by the numbers. The ensemble cast was not really that, Stallone, Statham and to a lesser extent Li were the stars, the rest were along for the ride. It took itself a little too seriously, especially the hopeless bantz. This was from a time when fast edits were the norm, man, there were some shockingly-edited fights in this. Was nice to see Gary Daniels in this though, I'll bet he was thrilled to be on the big screen. Mind you he was limited to a crap fight and getting solidly punched in the face. It's entertaining enough, solid action, just not particularly satisfying.

 

3/5

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Interstellar 

 

I haven't been able to sit and watch a movie in over a year. No idea, just can't focus. Yet, for some reason, out of the blue, I decided to give this a go. I really enjoyed it, some great performances, good effects and a superb score. There's a few hockey moments and the science starts to get a bit too clever for itself, but it had a lot of heart and a good number of tense moments. Loved the two robots as well. I was also quite surprised that it was nearly three hours because it seemed to fly by. 

 

4/5

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