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 Posted:   Jul 21, 2020 - 1:20 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Into the Night (1985)

Tonally off in places and quite draggy, this John Landis film I'd never heard of stars Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer both on good form. A host of mostly director cameos do tend to distract.

 Posted:   Jul 21, 2020 - 7:52 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Greatest Showman- 1-5

Ugh, that was cringe worthy. There's so much wrong with this film. The characterization, messaging and drama were overly simplistic.The morality was questionable. The history, a wretched twist on reality. The singing was so fake. By that I mean obviously dubbed. Why can't they do realistic dubs like Sound of Music, West Side Story, even something as current as Grease or FAME anymore?

Apparently all they do at the circus is song and dance numbers. I thought they performed stunts and did acts. Where were the circus animals? Speaking of the songs they're generic and forgettable. They had a few outcasts known as freaks, (like the bearded lady) but most were just everyday freaks, not circus material freaks.

I gave it one star because I enjoyed Hugh Jackman's lively performance and enthusiasm in the film. To bad the rest of it was awful.

By "obviously dubbed," do you mean that someone else did the singing for the actors, or that the actors badly lip-synced to their own pre-records?

So, to summarize, a fanciful musical entertainment was bad because it was not historically accurate, didn't spend enough screen time on non-musical events, and didn't have enough human deformity on display.

(1) I don't know how to explain it. I know the singing is recorded in the studio and dubbed in post regardless if the actors sing their own songs or sing on set. Maybe its the over use of auto-tune. I don't think Its bad lip-sicing. But when I watch someone sing in a movie, television show or music video nowadays it "sounds" dubbed and fake. Where in older musicals there's a suspension of disbelief.

(2) As far as historical accuracy. Yes films can take some artistic license but they kinda took it to the next level here now didn't they? Turning PT Barnum into a sympathetic guy who wanted the world to see his performers as "people" not "freaks". That's as perverted as making a movie about a ruthless dictator just wanting to help his people.

(3) The messaging was weird. The protagonist made a freak show out of people who are physically different. They're oddities were the attraction. But the songs were about being proud of who they are and social acceptance. Which is it?

(4) I'm no expert (nor a fan) of circuses, but nothing in the film felt like a circus. Just a bunch of people getting up on stage singing and dancing. Yeah its a musical but I never felt like I was experiencing the life of circus performers.

(5) Why did they have to bring in racism? Like wasn't there enough story to tell about ppl with physical disabilities and deformities and how they're treated as outcasts in the world? Like OMG, a white boy falls in love with a black girl! This is unacceptable! And wasn't it unintentionally hilarious when the white boy runs into a burning building to save his girlfriend and comes out with "black face"?! eek

 Posted:   Jul 21, 2020 - 11:57 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

DOWN MISSOURI WAY (1946) - 6/10

This is the first PRC production I've seen that wasn't a western. It's a full-blown musical comedy that fits nine songs into its 75-minute running time. And the surprise is that they are generally pretty good songs, all composed by the team of Kim Gannon and Walter Kent. That pair were no slouches in the songwriting department. During their career, they received two Oscar nominations for Best Song, and their biggest non-film-related song was "I'll Be Home for Christmas," which was a top 10 hit for Bing Crosby in 1943. Kent also wrote the music to "The White Cliffs of Dover."

What brings the film down is its silly plot, which involves a film company shooting a hillbilly saga on location in the Ozarks. So far, so good, but it goes off the rails when too much time is spent in convincing a college professor, played by Martha O'Driscoll, to allow a hyper-intelligent mule she's been "teaching" to apppear in the film. Will the mule appear or won't he? Is the mule under contract or not? Who cares? Get on with the singing.

Less than a year earlier, O'Driscoll had been the female lead to John Carradine in Universal's HOUSE OF DRACULA. Carradine is here, too, as the laconic film director. The film's love triangle involves O'Driscoll, William Wright (as the harried film producer trying to sign that mule) and Renee Godfrey, as the film's leading lady. And cowboy Eddie Dean and his sidekick Roscoe Ates show up, as the professor's assistant and a local hillbilly, respectively.

It's a good cast and they give it their all. The songs are tuneful and lively (except for the love ballads, of course). If only they had figured out some way to have the professor and producer meet that didn't involve that darn mule.

 Posted:   Jul 24, 2020 - 1:33 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

The Rover
Australian post-apocalyptic drama. Guy Pierce has his car stolen and wants it back from those who took it, dragging Robert Pattinson in tow. It's very slight, like a lot of these post-apocalypse films are, but gets by on strong performances from Pierce as a vengeful John Wick/Harry Callahan type and Robert Pattinson as a bit of a thicko. The tone is intentionally slow, moody and drab, like The Road or something similar. The music selection is pretty interesting and helps. Decent direction and everyone looks miserable or sweating enough to convince you it's the near future.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2020 - 1:40 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Pretty Woman (1990) ... 7/10

One of the better rom-com movies, IMHO, and I enjoyed it more this time than on the two prior viewings. Basically a modern take on the Pygmalion / My Fair Lady plot with good performances from its leads (neither Julia Roberts or Richard Gere are favourites) though I struggle with Ms. Roberts as the girl from the streets ... similar to Audrey Hepburn being charismatic and lovely to see ... just not right for her role as Eliza.

But each star is overshadowed by the wonderful performance of Hector Elizondo as the hotel manager. If nothing else, he makes the film worth watching albeit his screen time is limited.

A nice underscore by James Newton Howard which made more of an impression on me but it struggled to stand above the pop songs, despite most of these being of the mundane, boring style so prevalent. Of course, Roy Orbison's iconic title song works wonders (only emphasising how poor the other songs are).

Yes, I'd watch it again but have no intention of so doing ... shelf-clearing => recycle bin.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2020 - 3:07 AM   
 By:   Nedmerrill   (Member)

Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970)

Buddy/road movie starring Robert Redford and Michael J Pollard, focusing on their relationship and participation in motorcycle racing. I found this movie extremely boring and pointless and it was more something to be endured than enjoyed. The script was rubbish, however the most off putting part to the movie was Robert Redford, who paraded around shirtless, with a toothbrush in his mouth most of the movie. He played a character so conceited and selfish with no redeeming qualities whatsoever that my interest in his character or the plot waned from the start. 1/10

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2020 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

FOOLS RUSH IN (1997) - 6/10

Matthew Perry is a New York-based nightclub builder working on his latest project in Las Vegas. He and nature photographer Salma Hayek have their "meet cute" in a Mexican restaurant and have a one night stand. Three months later, she is at his door with some unsettling news. Before the night is out, she is being walked down the aisle of a Vegas wedding chapel, being given away by an Elvis impersonator.

Now the two must get to know the person they just married. That includes their respective (and stereotypical) families. Hayek is a member of a large, loud Mexican clan headed by Tomas Milian. Perry is the only child of a WASPish couple--Jill Clayburgh and John Bennett Perry (Matthew's real-life father). It's the standard story of opposites attracting and then coming to terms with each other. Call it "My Big Fat Hasty Wedding."

Perry provides most of the laughs in this romantic comedy, while Hayek supplies most of the heart. Between them, the two manage to somewhat overcome the cliched situations in Katherine Reback's script. It's the likeability of the stars that push this one into the plus column.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2020 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Ad astra
Painfully slow crock. In a way, it was Apocalypse now in space. Astronaut sent to far side of solar system to kill/find astronaut gone rogue/mad. Only difference being the errand boy sent my grocery clerks this time is his son.
Tedious. Avoid.
4 out of 10.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2020 - 3:19 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Korean cop thriller. Tense. Well-made. At times, even Hitchcockian.
8 out of 10.

 Posted:   Jul 26, 2020 - 1:32 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Last Boy Scout (1991) ... 8/10

Many viewings and still great fun (my better-half watched, too!) ... of its specific genre (comic book, high action, buddy-buddy shoot-em-up) this is probably my favourite. Bruce Willis may be John McClane but in this he comes over as someone different and Damon Wayans is excellent as the disgraced football player.

The language bothers me, as usual, but I accept it, though the daughter's portrayal (Danielle Harris, then aged about 13) does raise questions ... at least the script makes a point about it.

Unlike Willis/McClane, the score by Michael Kamen, when heard, consists of off-cuts from his Die Hard scores ... it doesn't distract but doesn't add anything to the mix. The awful title song is best ignored ... enjoy Pat Boone's Moody River play-out classic instead smile

 Posted:   Jul 26, 2020 - 3:13 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Starblack 7/10 western with the watchable Robert Woods in the title role. He's a kind of robin hood/batman masked avenger. Quite decently made, the German blu ray looks good. Music by Benedetto Ghiglia is also fine ,a little different. Novelty value - Woods wrote the lyrics to the title song and sang it. He was ok but don't give up the day job. Followed by -

Conspiracy of Hearts 8/10 with Lily Palmer,Ronald Lewis. I have watched this numerous times on TV but here it was on dvd, someone gave it to me. It's still a great little film with more than you usual stereotypes. Bad German, Peter Arne, decent German , Albert Lieven. Some scenes still pack an emotional punchnabd also some humour. I have always loved Lavagnino's score. It's subtle all the way with a great main title (Stefan, any news big grin ).

 Posted:   Jul 26, 2020 - 3:13 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

The Stath in Wild Card (2015) it has some good names attached, written by William Goldman (from his novel) & directed by Simon West, but it's a dismal affair. Too talky with no pace or energy at all, & with a drab grunge look. A waste of a Stath.

 Posted:   Jul 26, 2020 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Korean cop thriller. Tense. Well-made. At times, even Hitchcockian.
8 out of 10.

How many movies are there called "The Beast?"

 Posted:   Jul 26, 2020 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)


Laugh-free comedy that looks like an episode of tv rather than a film. Iceland looks nice though.


Unscary, badly directed, badly structured. Interesting premise. Bad film.

 Posted:   Jul 27, 2020 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

The Long Haul 6/10 with Victor Mature ( we like Vic in our house),Diana Dors ( not such a moose in this) and Patrick Allen ( playing a nasty gobshite ). Set in Liverpool, mostly. Samson in Liverpool, hoodathawtit. Pretty decent film about cream off the top in the trucking game. Vic is honest though, at least at first.

 Posted:   Jul 28, 2020 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Affair in Trinidad (1952) ... 6+/10

Enjoyable hokum set in the Caribbean (supposedly) with innocent American citizens being coerced by the British authorities to spy on some nasty characters with mid-European accents; the locals act as maids, servants and chauffeurs. Very much of its time ...

It's actually a lot better than it first appears, being influenced by the vastly superior Notorius (1946). I've never been a fan of Rita Hayworth (despite her major starring role in Pal Joey (1957)) and she compares badly with Ingrid Bergman whilst Glenn Ford, in an early starring role, has none of Cary Grant's subtlety or demeanor. Alexander Scourby is nicely sleazy but not as frightening as Claude Rains.

There is some nice scenery but not from the true location whilst George Duning provides a mostly excellent score. Ms. Hayworth's role as a nightclub singer allows for a couple of performances where she is voiced by Jo Ann Greer ... and pretty good they are, too.

The script is a little weak leaving some plot points unexplained, such as why the person dead at the start had been killed ... this needed to be more than the mere kicking-off point.

 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Monty Python's Life of Brian

 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)


Texas Rangers "Tex Haines" (Tex Ritter), "Dave Wyatt" (Dave O'Brien), and "Panhandle Perkins" (Guy Wilkerson) investiagte a series of Indian attacks around Bear Settlement. They soon come to suspect that the attacks are being carried out by white men dressed as Indians. It's up to our intrepid trio to find out, which will require Panhandle going undercover as an Indian. That leads to a silly sequence, as one fake Indian meets another, that almost sinks this one, but the film recovers.

Ritter makes for a good hero, and even the requisite three songs aren't too obtrusive in this one.

 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 8:48 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Da 5 Bloods


Ponderous, laboured, tiresome. And that's just the first 45 minutes. It is incredibly tedious. Stopping often for what feels like a wiki page excerpt or sermon about modern or 60s racial injustice or politics or a sports hero or something else. Usually with a photograph chucked in and maybe a text name and date. The American government was/is bad. The French were/are bad. (Nothing is said against the North Vietnamese). It included interesting moments and people, they'd just be better in a documentary.

Delroy Lindo is a great actor and makes this watchable, even though his character is pretty terrible.

There's some really bad editing, particularly near the beginning of the film. Overlong scenes everywhere. It's a 2.5 hour film that really needn't be. Noticeably dodgy CGI on several occasions.

I think just don't like Spike Lee's style of storytelling. It seems very clumsy here, as much as it did in BlackKklansman, just throwing in photos and sermonising. It just feels like you're being talked at by somebody who has a lot of knowledge but can't tell a story to save their life.

There's unintentionally hilarious moments of people stepping on landmines, which made me laugh out loud. the emotional moments weren't much better. One death by gunfire has really bad muzzle flash and blood effects, rendering it very funny.

The score i know is good, as I've heard it on youtube, but it doesn't get the chance to breath in the film, often buried way down.

The film is a decent idea too, much like BlackKklansman, so it's a shame I found it to be so bad.

 Posted:   Jul 30, 2020 - 3:07 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Chaos (2005) ... 6-/10

Not the typical cops vs. robbers thriller as it features a number of twists in a story in which an apparent criminal mastermind is attempting an unusual bank robbery ... one in which nothing is stolen. Yes, there have been plot-lines before which employ this gimmick but it takes some time for this one to be revealed and even then we still have only half the story.

Do not review the film on IMDb first as it gives far too much away.

Jason Statham is the disgraced cop brought back to chase the robbers. He's teamed with a young rookie and, of course, we find out some of their backgrounds and their mutual distrust is slowly overcome. But not everything is as it appears and this is the film's strength and weakness. Whilst drawing you along so as to find out what's going on, it also leaves you asking whether it made sense.

A couple of character threads went nowhere as if the film was pruned to keep the running time down.

It was good to see Statham less physical than usual and Wesley Snipes, too, seemed to be much more low key. Ryan Phillippe was very good and I enjoyed watching most of the cast.

A chase scene towards the end went on too long but otherwise the film kept my interest.

The score by Trevor Jones sounded good at the start but became mundane later ... I hardly recall anything in the second half of the film.

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