Recommend a movie

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Posted

It’s Slade - 1999 - 7/10

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Roaring documentary of the premier Glam rockers of the 70s.
All band members appear (manager Chas Chandler, sadly RIP),
along with guest heads Ozzy Osbourne, Suzi Quatro, Noel Gallagher.
Most of the story follows the rise of the group and one powerhouse hit after another.
Like Mr Plant (another key singer from the 70s), Noddy has been the one resisting reunions.
Glory days for Brit fans.  For Yanks, maybe not so much, as Slade never caught on in the States.
Fabulous times, awful costumes, great drugs, free range sex.
Echo of the mindless, hedonistic decade still fading away.

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Posted

Submarine - 2010 - 6/10

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Quirky overload in this coming-of-age romantic comedy set in Wales.
Depressed, low key youth meets moody, rebellious girl.
His parents are oddballs, the neighbor is is mullet wearing, New Age motivational speaker.
Mostly set in school, the few students showcased are weirdos.
Nicely acted by newcomers, though cutesy script felt like a sack of marshmallows.
Others will enjoy this more than I.

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Posted

The Uninvited - 1944 - 6/10

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Cozy, old dark house mystery.
Look is part Gothic, part Noir.
House perches on cliff’s edge over pounding Cornish coast.
Critic and his sister buy on impulse, delighted the price was so reasonable!
First the dog, then cat, refuse to go upstairs.
Next, odd things occur after midnight.
Finally, and too late, the siblings ask the previous owner why the low price.
Enjoyable, if predictable, rainy night movie.

(For fixxer-upper types, the house had no phone, no electricity.)

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Posted

Triangle - 2009 - 6/10

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Three couples climb aboard the sailboat for a day of gentle waves and sea breezes.
Sooner than you can say,  “Hey, look at them dark clouds,” a squall smashes the ship to hell.
Fortunately, out of nowhere, an ocean liner appears.  Rescue!  Everyone climbs aboard.
Only the liner appears deserted.
Then the dying starts.
I hated the lead female character.  Whining, worrying, a mopey downer.
As the plot turns in odd directions, reasons for her behaviour emerge.
Defying the dead teenager plot, this is a decent thriller with memorable scenes.

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Posted

Mr Nice - 2010 - 6/10

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Biopic of Welsh hash smuggler, Howard Marks.
Lightweight, by the numbers approach as young Marks goes to Oxford, discovers reefer.
Next thing, he’s collaborating with IRA patriots to smuggle Afghan hash.  Money for lifestyle or guns.
Big deals in the US, swimming pool stylin’ in Mallorca.
Several funny anecdotal scenes, yet nowhere does this dig for substance.
Some of the cinematography intrigues as they have characters drive or walk in front of obvious rear projection of 60s or 70s exteriors.
Too long at two hours, and still too shallow.
Rhys Myers (as Howard) distracted by reminding me of Liam Gallagher.

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Posted

Loft - 2008 - 6/10

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Belgium film, not the 2014 remake.
Five married guys share a pricy loft where they can bring twinkies and bang-bunnies.
Wives, what little we see of them, are weak, clueless, insecure.
Then one of the guys strolls in with his bag of vino and sees naked hottie in the blood soaked bed.
Narrative bounces from police interrogations to flashbacks to alibis and false trails.
Easy enough to follow, though premise remains far fetched.

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Kontroll - 2003 - 7/10

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Loose narrative of shady ticket inspectors working Budapest subways.
They hunt an aerosol punk named Bootsie, as well as a hooded figure (resembles Banksy) who pushes passengers into oncoming trains.
Filled with dark humor and seedy nightlife, no office folks at all, let alone tourists.  Street people, pimps, alcoholics, bullies, lost souls.
Fairly accurate feel for the Hungarian underground, which is rightfully infamous among seasoned turistas.
Inspectors cluster at main exits and generally target visitors.  There are always fines.
Worthwhile film, whether you’ve been busted in Keleti or not.

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Posted

Exit Through The Gift Shop - 2010 - 7/10

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Documentary on the underground graffiti scene with Banksy, Space Invader, Zevs.
By turns interesting and provocative when cameras trail artists in the bleak hours.
Gradually, the focus shifts to Theirry Guetta (AKA - Mr Brainwash) a hanger-on with zero artistic talent.
Not that having shit for inspiration ever stopped sock puppet heads.
In no time flat, Brainwash puts on his own exhibitions, deluding gallery owners, curators, and the wine n cheese crowd.
Black satire, acidly funny, mean spirited, and mocking pretensions of all sorts.
Directed by Banksy, with pitiless detail.

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Posted

Heartless - 2009 - 5/10

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Gloomy, arthouse Horror.
Photographer with disfiguring heart-shaped birthmark on his face roams London’s midnight streets.
Sees lizard monsters under hoodies murdering humans.
Next is summoned by demon.  An offer to remove the birthmark stigma is extended, in exchange for services.
This really ought to be fun times, but is a mopey downer.
Guy is a sad sack loser.  Even when he scores, he screws up.
Too fatalistic.  Needed more lizards, less thinking.

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Posted

Wer - 2013 - 6/10

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Horror yarn of the hairy outsider.
We’re talking serious back hair here, as well as full beard, and shaggy hair.
Don’t even get me started about his king sized hands.
After a happy camping family is mauled (middle of the night, middle of woods, stupid city people), an unscrubbed mountain man - with a Romanian accent - is apprehended.
Interrogations, tests, and each night the moon gets fuller and fuller, until,
Oh, my God!  There’s a full moon out!  And wer is short for -- aarrggh!

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Posted

Resolution - 2012 - 4/10

OK, lemme get this straight.
Nebbish leaves his hot blonde wife (newly pregnant, ole flying circus position gone forever in a few months), so he can spend a week with childhood buddy, who is a meth addict, living in rural oblivion.

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Weird snapshots show up, peepers stare into the house at night, video tapes, odd sounds.
After a day or so, the straight guy starts to wonder if the shack - Indian grounds - may be cursed.
Displaying zero common sense, he stays put, musing aloud,  “What is going on?”
I could well point the looking glass at myself, wondering why I select crap like this.
Not to give anything away, but if you’re one of those types who applaud open endings, this has your name on it.

Plenty of sites out there that explain (or try to explain) the ending.  Good luck.

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Posted

The Angel’s Share - 2012 - 6/10

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Likeable Scottish comedy / drama opens with misfits ordered to perform community service for petty crimes or drunken behaviour.
Main character has a steady squeeze who wants him out of a multi generation blood feud.
After a day trip to a distillery, coincidences pile up, stretching disbelief and plausibility quite thin.
As mentioned, the overall good-natured tone carries glosses over this, and you root for their most peculiar caper.
Subtitles an absolute must!  Brogue is indecipherable at times, and many phrases sounded like Gaelic.

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Posted

And While We Were Here - 2012 - 6/10

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Troubled couple go to Naples.  He to play viola for concerts, she to work on WWII book.
Gorgeous settings of isle of Ischia, offset by serious, depressing tone of a husband and wife who can no longer communicate with each other.
She meets a 19 year old, still very boyish, though reckless and full of life.
“Chick flick” which will resonate more with female viewers.
The plot meanders around as the young wife (Kate Bosworth - quite good in this) broods much of the time, then starts thinking and rethinking, all the time listening to recordings of her grandmother, recalling her youth.

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Sightseers - 2012 - 6/10

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Black comedy of repressed, middle aged female escaping thumb of domineering mother, who is slipping into dementia.
The female meets a slightly older man, they take off on a roadtrip - holiday - sightseeing tour, leaving Ma in the muddle of her short wired brain.
Straight off, the female realizes her boyfriend has a slight problem with order and rage, though he compensates by stoking her romping appetites.
Creeping body count on this.  Each death one was at once grisly and funny.
Litterbugs, PETA members, health enthusiasts, beware all.

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Kill Your Darlings - 2013 - 7/10

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Drama about hitherto unknown chapter of Beat history, focusing on young Allen, Bill and Jack, before the kiss of fame.
Oh, and Lucien Carr, too, the violent bad boy who broke taboos and laws, and seems a guru to Allen.
Period jazz music woven with current sounds.  Hit n miss, though in commentary, director defends the modern choice.  The look of the movie, Noirish throughout, added to the uncertainty and air of menace.
I was distracted, however, wondering, 'I never heard of this story.  Is this true?  This must be fiction.”
The events were accurate, simply forgotten until rather recently.
Gay press has been trumpeting this flick since its release, but don’t be put off if you are squeamish.
Good story, shuttered view of sordid choices by young turks.

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Wolf Creek 2 - 2013 - 4/10

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Sequel to the fun grinder that was Wolf Creek.
This opens with lonely encounter with law enforcement grafters,
then succumbs to repetition of earlier themes, unimaginative story lines, whining characters.
Mick Taylor remains a grinning, malevolent force of nature.
Still, the template of trailer trash meets dead teenagers felt like cold leftovers.
Lazy efforts all around.  Writers - director - money men.

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Vidal Sassoon: The Movie - 2010 - 6/10

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Glossy documentary of the revolutionary hair designer, now beginning to slip into memory.
Filled with old footage and recent interviews with friends, family, and Sassoon himself.
Earlier years were more informative:  His participation in underground groups opposing Mosley’s English pro-fascist parties.  Also his service during 1948 Arab-Israeli war.  Followed by the apprenticeship, then the fame.
Plenty of Swingin’ 60s footage, the five point cut, and survivors recalling the past.
Any hint of negativity (three divorces, one child committed suicide, selling off the business) omitted.
Still hear the commercial tag - “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

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Her - 2013 - 7/10

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Near-future yarn that received plenty of ink last year.
Allegory of how humanity plugs in with everyone on the planet, yet grows more disassociated from each other.
Lead character develops relationship with his new OS (operating system) which is more a personal assistant.
Glossy photography (in sunny, fairy-tale Los Angeles) overlays the loneliness of daily existence.
His seemingly well-paid job (writing personal letters) strikes a false note since (1) People increasingly no longer read, and (2) Less and less pay for content.
Enjoyed this - perhaps appreciated would be a better word.  Superbly done, though I feel the overall fear of dislocation is possibly wrong.  Most people I know seem happier in their virtual world over daily reality.

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Chinese Puzzle - 2014 - 5/10

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French fare, filmed and set mostly in New York, that assumes viewer will be familiar with previous installments, L'Auberge Espagñole and Russian Dolls.
Wendy leaves Xavier, takes the kids, moves to New York.
Xavier follows, chills with Isabelle, reconnects with Martine.
Small tempests amounting to squat.  Third film definitely running low on steam.  Characters getting long in the tooth and their compelling personal dramas tedious.
Hardcore arthouse types will queue in line for this, though.

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The Machine - 2013 - 6/10

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Semi-intelligent SciFi thriller, set in the near future, as Cold War between China and the West escalates.
Pair of bio-engineers working for Ministry Of Defence, try to equip synthetic humans - cyborgs - androids - toasters - what? - with artificial intelligence.  Several sequences and themes seem direct from Ghost In The Shell.
Several deliberately confusing plotlines, as different cliques have their own agendas:  scientists, defense contractors, and beefy security guys with brain implants.
Movie relies on deep shadows and glare to hide budget of $1287, couple rolls of duct tape, and baling wire.  Film very dark, and subtitles will help understanding garbled guards and radio chatter.

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