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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4154497 )
dave jenkins
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« #19815 : June 22, 2021, 12:23:47 PM »

The Missing Juror (1944) - 6/10. George Macready is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. At the last moment a crusading news reporter (Jim Bannon, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ben Affleck) finds evidence that gets him pardoned. The experience, though, causes Macready's mind to crack, and he then proceeds, Phibes-like, to kill one by one the members of the jury that convicted him.  Janis Carter plays one of his intended victims and Bannon's love interest. There's an amazing scene at mid-film that has Mike Mazurki, as a steam bath attendant, quoting from Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Must be seen to be believed. The whole film is only 66 minutes long. Directed with flair by Oscar Boetticher, Jr.

« : June 22, 2021, 02:40:44 PM dave jenkins »


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« #19816 : June 24, 2021, 01:45:32 PM »

Irezumi/ Spider Tattoo (1966) - 4/10. Disappointing film. Visually wonderful (and the new blu serves the vivid color images well), in terms of plot there is no there there. A beautiful woman (Ayako Wakao) is kidnapped and sold. A tattoo artist takes temporary possession of her and inks a spider with a human face on her back. Thereafter the woman seeks to destroy every man that crosses her path (with great success). After killing everyone she can, she herself is killed. And then the killer who kills her kills himself. The end. Uh, maybe this could have benefited from, you know, a sub-plot or two? Adapted from Tanizaki's first published short story, it seems to be no more than a premise stretched into a feature. A shame, as Masumura is usually so good with plot. Oh well, he made other films.



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« #19817 : June 26, 2021, 02:48:09 PM »

Flowers of Shanghai (1998) - 8/10. There's a story, yeah, but it's pretty trivial. Mostly this is about the ambience within 19th Century "flower houses" which, commenter Tony Rayns is at pains to explain, were not brothels. Appropriately, the entire film is shot on lavish sets and there are no exteriors. Art direction, costumes and hairstyles: fabulous. Long takes abound--there are maybe 40 shots in the 113 minute film. Cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing keeps everything convincingly dark. Yoshihiro Hanno supplies a great electronic score (I love that album he did with Mick Karn). From an 1892 novel by Han Ziyun, a film by Hou Hsiao-Hsien.



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« #19818 : June 27, 2021, 01:10:46 PM »

Unstoppable (2010) - 10/10. I would have thought remaking Runaway Train was a bad idea. I would have thought wrong. RIP, Tony Scott.



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« #19819 : June 28, 2021, 05:05:10 AM »

Shadow on the Wall (1950) - 7/10. A little girl is traumatized by a murder she witnesses. She represses the memory of the event, but those around her notice she's acting strange. Enter Dr. Psycho-sleuth (played by future First Lady Nancy Davis), who, in tying to help the girl, discovers the child may be able to identify the murderer once her psychic block is lifted. The murderer, getting wind of this, begins surreptitiously to menace the girl. The child actor in this isn't bad. The film would make a good double-bill with The Window.



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« #19820 : June 28, 2021, 04:33:26 PM »

Ash is Purest White (2018) - 9/10. The career of a gangster's moll in the PRC, 2001-2018. And as molls go, Tao Zhao is pretty interesting. For some reason, Jia Zhangke used the title music from The Killer for the title music for this. WTF? There's also a scene in a disco where everybody dances to "YMCA." In the 21st Century? Obviously China is a really weird place. Weird and incredibly ugly. This film, though, is not. It's almost a masterpiece.



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« #19821 : June 28, 2021, 07:37:35 PM »

The Late Show (1977) - Produced by Robert Altman but badly needed Altman at the helm since the direction is spotty and the pace plods -- though the movie is passable at worst. Art Carney is great, and this is well cast with good chemistry between Carney and Lily Tomlin, but it was a critical darling of its time that hasn't stood the test of it. C



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« #19822 : June 29, 2021, 03:22:22 AM »

Suzhou River (1998) - 6/10. If WKW had made Vertigo in 1998, it would look something like this. Except for the Shanghai locations. And the fact that it's shot on 16mm which, on the import blu-ray, looks pretty good for 16mm. There's a really cute actress in this too.



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« #19823 : June 29, 2021, 10:34:14 AM »

Suzhou River (1998) - 6/10. If WKW had made Vertigo in 1998, it would look something like this. Except for the Shanghai locations. And the fact that it's shot on 16mm which, on the import blu-ray, looks pretty good for 16mm. There's a really cute actress in this too.

Why only a 6? The first line in your review makes it sound like required viewing.



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« #19824 : June 29, 2021, 02:08:23 PM »

There are some plot problems. And for the plot to work at all, several characters have to withhold information from other characters in a manner that's not credible.



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« #19825 : July 03, 2021, 12:58:05 PM »

The Hellbenders (1967) - Very good plotting but there needed to be suspenseful atmospheric build-ups to the action instead of developments quickly occurring. Still, it's a good movie, and the Kino bluray delivers -- even though the transfer is inconsistent. This is the rare movie where I don't find Joseph Cotton repulsive, and the cast is overall good even though Giuliano Gemma would have made for the best protagonist. The music is solid but it should have played a larger role in the movie. B-

Dumb and Dumber To (2014) - This is a 95 minute failed Super Bowl commercial and Carrey and Daniels look like actors reprising roles for a TV ad. While the movie has rare solid moments, this is like grown men deciding to go back to High School. You just can't. It's weird. D



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« #19826 : July 03, 2021, 04:56:19 PM »

Speaking of Gemma, I remember seeing Adi?s Gringo on TV decades ago.  A major success in Italy, it was the 4th highest grossing Italian picture of the year.

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« #19827 : July 03, 2021, 06:58:07 PM »

Speaking of Gemma, I remember seeing Adi?s Gringo on TV decades ago.  A major success in Italy, it was the 4th highest grossing Italian picture of the year.

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« #19828 : July 05, 2021, 03:46:34 AM »

I've now been back in town for a week, happy to watch movies again.

Kill Bill Vol.1&2 (2003-2004) 7.5/10
A mix of very good and wayyyyyyy too campy stuff, with mostly average to poor dialogues. I'm now convinced that the biggest flaw of the movies is Uma Thurman: she's mostly good, but not "I'm gonna carry these two movies on my shoulders" good. Too bad QT was so in love with her at the time, he couldn't see she was definitely not good enough. That plus the dialogues means 99% of the not Michael Madsen related human feels are entierly removed from the whole experience. It also means that when you're watching a scene you don't like - and most of us have to go through quite a lot of them because of the patchwork nature of the movie (I'm good with the westerning first half of volume 2, I'm bored to death by the scenes with Pai Mei: it really depends on what floats your boat) - you're really left without much to chew on... except the hope that the next scene will go in a whole other direction (and it often does).  In the end we're still left with a collection of sometimes really good scenes and a lot of purely cinematic fun.
On the plus side, the cinematography is growing on me, it's starting to achieve a true vintage look that doesn't lack charm (I'm not talking about the fact that it emulates vintage looks: the lighting, that feels really 90's, felt pretty cheesy to me back in 2003-4. It's aging well now that mainstream movies have totally changed. So it's now guenuely feeling vintage).

La Discr?te (1990) 6.5/10
Heavily influenced by Truffaut. The main character is even called Antoine. Pretty fun, especially thanks to Fabrice Luchini, giving one of his best performances. The main parisian caf? from the movie still exists, Place Saint Sulpice, and I always think of La Discr?te when I walk by.

Le Petit Lieutenant (2005) 6.5/10
It was shot when Jalil Lespert was starting to be everywhere... and he was actually great in this one. The movie starts out really good, showing with realism and even naturalism what the real life of a cop in Paris actually is. Unfortunately, the last 45 minutes are way too focused on a single case and Nathalie Bay's character - which really doesn't fit in this naturalism: suddenly, a typycally cinematic, unrealistic character interacts with "real people". So the whole thing loses a lot of steam and you start wondering why you're watching it. I think Pialat did a much better mix of genre+"real life" with Police (1985), eventhough that one had flaws too: at least everything feels like it belongs to the same movie.

Domino (2005) 3/10
Wow that was bad. At least the trailer didn't lie: it's exactly like the trailer. As in: it's a 2 hours trailer. There isn't a single scene in that movie, just cool clips edited by an MTV editor.


« : July 05, 2021, 03:49:00 AM noodles_leone »

dave jenkins
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« #19829 : July 06, 2021, 12:25:07 AM »

I've now been back in town for a week, happy to watch movies again.

Kill Bill Vol.1&2 (2003-2004) 7.5/10
A mix of very good and wayyyyyyy too campy stuff, with mostly average to poor dialogues. I'm now convinced that the biggest flaw of the movies is Uma Thurman: she's mostly good, but not "I'm gonna carry these two movies on my shoulders" good. Too bad QT was so in love with her at the time, he couldn't see she was definitely not good enough. That plus the dialogues means 99% of the not Michael Madsen related human feels are entierly removed from the whole experience. It also means that when you're watching a scene you don't like - and most of us have to go through quite a lot of them because of the patchwork nature of the movie (I'm good with the westerning first half of volume 2, I'm bored to death by the scenes with Pai Mei: it really depends on what floats your boat) - you're really left without much to chew on... except the hope that the next scene will go in a whole other direction (and it often does).  In the end we're still left with a collection of sometimes really good scenes and a lot of purely cinematic fun.
On the plus side, the cinematography is growing on me, it's starting to achieve a true vintage look that doesn't lack charm (I'm not talking about the fact that it emulates vintage looks: the lighting, that feels really 90's, felt pretty cheesy to me back in 2003-4. It's aging well now that mainstream movies have totally changed. So it's now guenuely feeling vintage).
The whole idea of doing the film in two parts was a big, big mistake. There's a good 2-hr. film in here awaiting a re-edit. As it is, I only ever watch Part 2 anymore.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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