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JaseSF
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« Reply #5430 on: September 23, 2012, 08:26:38 PM »

D.O.A. (1950): A man named Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) visits a police station to report a murder - his own!

This classic film noir is certainly different from many others films of its era and exudes a certain desperateness with many of its characters seeming trapped in circumstances seemingly beyond their control especially lead O'Brien. Some characters though prove to be not quite what they seem to be on the surface too. The style of this film told in flashback also seems a bit different and us knowing from the start that our hero, who doesn't always act heroic throughout this film, is doomed right from the start. There are some problems though. The film seems a tad bit dated nowadays and the jazzy score can be a bit much at times and the sound effect associated with attractive women seems downright corny nowadays. Still this is a classic full of great moments so I'll give this ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

Fear in the Night (1947): Vince Grayson (DeForest Kelley) wakes up from a startling dream in which he murdered a man only to find items from his dream on his person and  with a certain strong feeling he may have in fact really committed the murder in reality. He visits his brother in-law, a police detective named Cliff Herlihy (Paul Kelly), who he confides in asks for help. Can they get to the bottom of this mystery and if they do, will Grayson be in fact proven a killer?

This film takes a rather unexpected twist, one that actually wasn't so uncommon in the late 40s but to go into that would involve spoilers. The acting in this one is top notch and the story is surprising compelling. Kelley and Kelly make for likable leads and Ann Doran and Kay Scott offer good support. Just a well cast little mystery thriller with a great cast of fine character actors. The only thing that doesn't quite hold up is that by now somewhat dated 40s twist element although it is interesting. I'm giving this one ***3/4 out of ***** stars.

Ten Minutes To Live (1932): An Harlem nightclub variety show is the backdrop for murder and plots of murder.

This is an interesting curio of the 1930s, a film aimed at a black audience with black and white stars interacting in an Harlem nightclub while a variety show goes on. Really the variety show is the main aspect of this film and the minimalist murder plot just adds a very odd way to tie the film all together. The most fascinating facet here is the variety show itself but the sound isn't always up to par. There are some odd lighting touches but the focus definitely proves more on cheesecake and variety performances than it does any murder and the acting isn't exactly all that good either. I'm giving this one **1/2 out of ***** stars.

Summer With the Ghosts (2004): a young ten year old girl named Caroline (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse) visits Austria where her director father is filming his latest motion picture in an old historic castle that at it happens turns out to be haunted.

This family film was a Canadian/Austrian co-production and is certainly unique in its take on ghosts some of which do seem to based upon European legend but there's nothing inherently scary about this film and the ghosts while sometimes mischievous never come across as inherently evil, more like real life people who just happen to be ghosts now due to the hardships surrounding their deaths. This is a fun, unusual little family film that actually teaches some valuable life lessons and shows how kindness can be rewarded. There's some funny moments, some moving moments and some silly moments. It's not going to satisfy those looking for true scares but it's fine entertainment for the whole family to pass an hour and an half. I'll give this one **3/4 out of ***** stars.

The Young Magician (1987): a young twelve year old boy named Peter (Rusty Jedwad) looking for something to finally  succeed at embraces magic and telekinesis after being invited on stage by a magician only to discover he really does possess magical powers only he can not control them at all. This gets him in deeper and deeper trouble as the townsfolk soon come to view him as some kind of monster.

This was surprisingly good. I really enjoyed this story of the desire for success and acceptance of one's peers. Also the powers aspect proves very interesting and I suspect fans of the X-Men might well enjoy this little story. Of course this family film Canadian/Polish co-production does have some cheesy elements with a particularly bad 80s score and some unbelievable moments where kids naturally seem far more intelligent  than the majority of the adults in the film (not that this is anything new though in films of this type).  The acting too seems a bit amateurish and more like one would expect from say a Canadian TV series. Still I ended up liking this far more than I expected and it has some surprisingly funny chaotic moments. I'm giving this one ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

Francis, the Talking Mule (1949): a second lieutenant Peter Stirling (Donald O'Connor) gets trapped behind enemy lines in Burma during World War II where he finds himself aided by a talking mule named Francis. Over time, Francis helps Stirling out in his Army Intelligence job only to find himself sent to the Psych ward every time explains where he got his information from.

This silly movie has some funny sequences with mainly the cynical and sardonic dialogue from Francis (voiced by Chill Wills) providing many of the film's laughs as well as the reactions of other characters throughout the film towards Stirling whom they clearly think is more than a bit loopy. Patricia Medina adds some buxom beauty to the proceedings as the French refugee trapped with the soldiers. The jokes though do tend to be much the same and the film's basic idea does seem a bit tough to stretch to full film length although this was successful enough to spawn an whole series of films in fact so that definitely says something for the likability of the cast here particularly O'Connor and Francis as voiced by Chill Wills. *** out of ***** stars.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 08:30:47 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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« Reply #5431 on: September 23, 2012, 11:45:47 PM »

"The Dead" (2010)
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Interesting variation on the zombie genre follows a stranded U.S. engineer and a local militia deserter as they battle their way across the undead-infested African badlands.

Drags on a bit longer than it needs to but there's some real suspense here, as well as some suitably nasty zombie carnage FX. Worth a look.
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claws
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« Reply #5432 on: September 24, 2012, 01:43:41 AM »

For Your Love Only (1977)

17 year old student Sina (Nastassja Kinski) has affair with 32 year old married teacher. A classmate aware of the relationship tries to blackmail, but is murdered in nearby woods. The investigating police focus on Sina as her story as a witness of the murder doesn't seem to add up.

German television movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot") that caused quite a commotion back in the day. Nastassja Kinski was only 15 years old when she filmed her nude scenes. Other than that Petersen made a well-crafted crime-drama with excellent camera work, moody soundtrack and great performances. On a sidenote, I was told the US version comes with awful dubbing 4.5/5
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fulci420
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« Reply #5433 on: September 24, 2012, 12:02:44 PM »

Ed Wood-Hadn't seen this film since high school but remembered liking it back in the day. This Black and White film chronicles the filming of Ed Wood Jr played by Johny Depp and his friends who helped him make his films in real life (Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, etc...) We get to see the making of such classics as "Bride of the Monster" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space". A lazy film would simply make fun of Ed Wood for his lack of talent but this film focuses instead on the enthusiasm required to make film at such low resources. Martin Landau fully deserved his actor for his portrayal of an aging increasingly irrelevant Lugosi who is dealing with serious drug addiction. A great film that embraces B Movies and chronicles a part of film history that would have likely been dismissed had Tim Burton not done this film. 5/5

This has just been released on Blu Ray and it is a fine presentation. The B/W picture looks crisp and detailed, but it's Howard Shore's excellent score that gets the biggest boost coming through beautifully. A fair amount of extra's are included which further increases the value of this disc. Pick it up I got it for only about 12$ new, which is totally worth it.
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retrorussell
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« Reply #5434 on: September 24, 2012, 05:39:07 PM »

Just bought GET A LIFE: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD.  Chris Elliot (never funnier) is a 30-year old paperboy who still lives with his parents.  He sneaks into his responsible friend's house much to the consternation of his friend's wife, who utterly detests Chris and makes for a classic comic foil.
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alandhopewell
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« Reply #5435 on: September 25, 2012, 02:10:04 PM »

     GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

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    I TRIED....I really wanted to like this film, and prove the critics wrong.
This blew GIANT chunks. Considering how much Nicholas Cage has stated that he loves Marvel Comics, and this character in particular, I suspect blackmail was involved.

     Everything about this was wrong, especially the titular character. Suddenly, GR is a violence-obsessed demon who causes people to burst into flame with his chain. Johnny Blaze goes through MATRIX-inspired seizures, for no good reason, the raison d'etre for the character (film) is completely trashed, and it delves into the crude and silly, 4-X:

     Blaze and the little boy he's supposed to be protecting from the devil, his father(!) are riding in the back of a truck, talking. The kid asks Blaze if he can pee while GR....Blaze replies, "Yes; it's like a flamethrower", and we're treared to a scene of GR, p**sing in a flaming circle, laughting, which is repeated later, I guess to insure we got it.

     We rented this for a dollar, and I figger the folks at Marvel Studios owe us ninety cents.
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Jack
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« Reply #5436 on: September 26, 2012, 06:39:18 AM »

R.O.T.O.R. (1988)  - a scientist named Coldyron (cold iron) has created a robocop, but it won't be ready for deployment for at least 25 years.  His bosses want the timetable moved up, so Coldyron quits and his dorky assistant has the thing out on the streets by the next day.  It arrests a couple of speeders, shooting the guy and taking off in pursuit of his fiancee.  Coldyron manages to catch up with her, shooting robocop and damaging his motorcycle, and asking the woman if she wouldn't mind letting his robotic creation chase her around for about 12 hours while he prepares his big plan to destroy it.  That sounds reasonable to her.  Robodude has to spend a few hours at an auto repair shop fixing himself and his bike, but afterwards he parks on a freeway overpass and as luck would have it, the woman just happens to drive under that exact overpass so his pursuit can begin once again.  We then learn Coldyron's strategy - he calls up some female bodybuilder from California (he's in Dallas) and she flies in, they check into a hotel, and then finally execute their scheme.  Which is to have bodybuilder woman wrestle around with robodude for a while while Coldyron lassos it with clothesline.  Or, I mean, Primacord, which then blows it up.

Egads, true Troll 2 level of stupidity in this thing.  Acting was terrible, dialogue was utterly nonsensical, plot was utterly nonsensical;  the stop-motion animation of the combat chassis which was supposedly under robocop's skin was comical...my wife was laughing her butt off, she couldn't believe anybody could make such a stupid movie.  I'll give it a 4/5 just for how much entertainment she got out of it  TeddyR
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:26:30 AM by Jack » Logged

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ChaosTheory
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« Reply #5437 on: September 26, 2012, 12:07:32 PM »

WILD AT HEART - weird lovers-on-the-run tale directed by David Lynch, combining noir elements with WIZARD OF OZ.  I never quite know how to take Lynch's stuff, but it's always interesting.   Question Smile


CABIN IN THE WOODS - I ................. did not enjoy this as much as the rest of the world seems to.
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« Reply #5438 on: September 26, 2012, 06:58:24 PM »

russel - Spewey!

Dracula- Lugosi version. Lugosi is the real draw as his performance is so perfect. He just IS Dracula. I can't quite imagine what he must have represented to the relatively naive American audience back then, just every kind of scary foreign thing rolled into one. Renfield was a little over the top but in an entertaining way. ending was a little disspoainting. 4/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #5439 on: September 26, 2012, 11:21:22 PM »

"The Fog" (1980)
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On the eve of its 100th anniversary celebration, a sleepy California coastal town is invaded by the vengeful spirits of a crew killed in a shipwreck years before. I hadn't seen John Carpenter's creepy classic since I was a pup, and was very pleased to see that it still holds up very well to this day.

Even sweeter, the cast list is a virtual who's who of '70s/'80s B-cinema, including Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Janet Leigh!
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Jack
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« Reply #5440 on: September 27, 2012, 06:46:00 AM »

The Giant of Metropolis (1961) - sort of a Hercules vs. the Atlanteans type of thing.  This big muscle guy travels to Atlantis to warn them that their scientific experiments are going to destroy the world.  Of course the ego-maniacal ruler of the place doesn't believe a word of it.  He puts Mr. Muscle Man through various torturous tests to determine if his race is superior (since he's pretty much indestructible), and eventually he escapes, Mr. Evil Dude's daughter falls in love with him, and he defeats all the bad guys.  Really boring, '60s Italian thing with cardboard characters and an infinitely predictable plot.  The bad guy was the highlight of the show - "I have enslaved all of humanity, the benevolence of my rule cannot be questioned!"  Huh?   BounceGiggle  The breast best part was probably one very well endowed woman in a very tight outfit.  Still...2/5.
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Jack
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« Reply #5441 on: September 28, 2012, 06:57:35 AM »

Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977) - there's a monster in one of the lakes at the base of Mt. Fuji. It's got quite an appetite. A reporter looks into the story, and meets a couple of girls who do a lot of scuba diving. One of them shrieks whenever anything the least bit upsetting happens; she sounds like a toddler on a hotplate or something. It's really annoying. After a while a giant plastic Pterodactyl shows up too. This was your typically stupid-from-beginning-to-end type Japanese monster movie. Somebody should really do the writer a favor and get him a cat-scan; something's not right up there. I guess it was marginally entertaining. 2.5/5.

Death Machines (1976) - three martial arts guys are assassins for some Asian woman. They're all under her mind control, which I guess saves us from having to watch them act. They're given the task of killing a karate instructor, and told to leave no witnesses. So instead of attacking him when he's alone, they decide to go to his karate school in the middle of the day when all his students are there and kill everybody. But one guy lives - he just gets his hand chopped off. Oh what cruel irony that this effing loser is the sole survivor of the massacre - we get to spend the next hour watching him wallow in a pool of self pity and get involved in a unbearably boring romance with his nurse. Best part of the movie was after they had sex and she seriously looked like she was about ready to vomit. He also gets his butt kicked by some old guy in a bar. Our hero. Lookingup  Egads...I've still got 10 minutes of this thing to watch. Figured I'd split it up over three evenings to make it a bit more bearable. I think it's safe to say it's a 1.25/5.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #5442 on: September 28, 2012, 07:36:57 AM »

"Escape From New York" (1981)
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In John Carpenter's cyber-punk 1997 America is a police state, and Manhattan Island has been converted into a maximum security prison. When Air Force One crashes in New York, they send in bad-ass mercenary Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) to get him out. One of my fave J.C. movies, right behind the original "Halloween."
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« Reply #5443 on: September 29, 2012, 12:15:21 PM »

MST3K: GAMERA VS. GAOS: Gamera the turtle fights laser-spitting, bat-winged Gaos; Gamera befriends another kid and the Japanese try to kill Gaos with a spinning fountain of blood (!) This isn't my favorite episode---the movie has its goofy points, but the riffing is just so-so and the host segments are hit-and-miss-mostly-miss.  But hey, it's a Gamera movie, which is like MST comfort food. 3/5.
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Jack
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« Reply #5444 on: September 30, 2012, 06:52:55 AM »

Zombie Apocalypse (2011)  - an Asylum / SyFy Channel co-production, so ya know it's gotta be good.  Thumbup Post-zombie apocalypse, some survivors are trying to make their way through LA to get to a safe zone on Catalina island. Of course LA is rather heavily populated by the undead, which makes for an exciting journey. I enjoyed this. The characters were likable and had a bit of personality. The zombies, well, they were a bit silly at times but served their purpose I guess. Then they had a couple of CGI zombie tigers at the end that were...comical. But it wasn't bad at all for this sort of movie. More zombie action instead of zombie horror; it lacked atmosphere as it all took place in broad daylight. 4/5.
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