Recommend a movie

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Posted

La Enfermedad del Domingo - 2018 - 6/10
AKA - Sunday Illness

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Chiara's opulent dinner party, attended by an elite, has a stowaway among the temp help.
The older woman recognizes the infiltrator almost at once.
It is the daughter she threw away thirty years earlier.
This is not chance, for the daughter has a request, and no, not financial.
In fact, she is not really that interested in why her mother abandoned her.
A child was inconvenient, Mom wanted a better life and she succeeded gloriously.
I must confess I preferred the earlier, lavish half, despite its shallowness, to the stark realities of the second half.
Beautiful visuals, though the emotional undercurrents are austere and chilly.

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Posted

Hunting ASH - 1991 - 5/10
AKA - Skyscraper Hunting  //  Chôkôsô Hantingu  //  摩天大楼狩猎

The 80s marked the first appearance of the Abnormal Species Human (ASH).
They appear human, except for a pulsating dark extension running down their back - think spinal cord on steroids.
They have telekinetic powers to burn people alive, blow them to smithereens.
Worse (to menfolk in general), the male ASH are irresistible to human females.
Women go gaga over the ASH knobby cob.
Happy ASH males, sharing their love ooze, also spreading DNA.  Babies!!

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Thank God, there is an special unit of cops chasing down this new danger!
So-so Japanese SciFi has acceptable sfx, cheesy synth score, and the plot cobbles together elements from several other films.
Despite the infrequent inter-species rutting, this is neither lurid nor outrageous enough to tempt trash fans.

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Posted

Scotland Yard Jagt Dr. Mabuse - 1963 - 5/10
AKA - Dr. Mabuse Vs. Scotland Yard

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Hard to get shed of classic villains permanently.
The "spirit" of the criminal mastermind enters the body of a distinguished professor.
In possession of corporeal form, Mabuse rebuilds a gang and plots world domination ... again.
He obtains a gizmo that gives him total mind control of all but a select few.
Even poor Klaus Kinski, stalwart Scotland Yard detective, succumbs!
OK enough Krimi is a bit talky at time, and the criminal business often extends too long.
An early Krimi, this one is more serious than spoof in adapting the Edgar Wallace source.

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Posted

Housebound - 2014 - 7/10

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Repeat offender (petty crimes, substance abuse, dismal attitude) is given the worse-than-death sentence.
Home arrest with Mom, and Ma's boyfriend.
Ma is a chatterbox, whether gossiping on the phone, or calling talk radio and over-sharing.
Mother believes the home is haunted, or hosts a supernatural presence.
In the basement, the daughter sees what might fuel Ma's fevered imagination.
A stash of books by renowned literary master, Gordon Dickson.
And then he hears noises herself, inside the walls.
Fast paced horror/mystery is generously laced with comedy, plot twists and revelations.

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Posted

Where Eagles Dare - 1968 - 6/10

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Holiday alternative!
US general is captured and held prisoner by German command is an inaccessible Alpine fortress.
And he is privy to plans for the second front!  D-Day!
British intelligence send a crack team of operatives, commandos, and one US Army Ranger.
Against all odds, they must infiltrate the castle and free the general.
Classic WWII actioner starting to show its age.
It is overlong, confusing by design, and the prepping and action sequences all need a trim.
Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood work well together, and for action fans, there is plenty.

Aside:  I hail from a family of film buffs, and I saw this with my father at the drive-in.
As was his wont, he narrated throughout, often to my annoyance, though his comments echo decades later.
"And no one hears that plane in the middle of the night?
"Burton looks half-sauced.
"Cars don't suddenly explode falling down a cliff.
"He's in his 40s, no way he could jump that distance.
"Those guns are notorious for jamming.

To this day, I enjoy this film, somewhat sheepishly, though it suffers bloat.

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Mais ne Nous Délivrez Pas du Mal - 1971 - 7/10
AKA - Don't Deliver Us From Evil

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Vicious, moody, conte cruel drama will certainly offend many.
Two bored schoolgirls embark on escalating games and torments.
Victims include their perceived inferiors (ie: working class and peasants) and small animals.
A word to the uneasy.  Pets are mistreated in this, perhaps even killed.
Animal rights' rules were different when this originally lensed.
Although the girls share an unhealthy obsession with each other, this is not a precursor to Heavenly Creatures, as these are a malevolent pair.
As they gain experience, they target larger quarry.

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The Thing From Another World - 1951 - 7/10

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Another wintry alternative.
Polar station housing military and scientists investigate an unexplained crash.
Quickly, they realize the wreckage embedded in the ice is a UFO!
Going by the book, they opt to remove it using explosives.
Yep, the definition of "military intelligence."
Then one of the soldiers sees the body, which they swiftly ferry back to their base.
What could go wrong?

I had viewed this classic many times, but not for twenty years.
Holds up fairly well, and there were sequences I had totally forgotten (eg: incubators).
I kept spotting modern homages / swipes from this movie.

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Posted

Fanged Up - 2017 - 4/10

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Hitting on club girls and accidentally provoking a bar fight lands Jimmy a weekend pass in prison.
Horrors below, he is shipped to dreaded Stokesville, from whence few return!
The evil governor, sadistic female warden, even the menacing guards, are on a blood diet!
Alright premise, mostly fine casting, but the comic bits are few and far between.
This film dragggggggggs, even on fast forward.
Fifteen minutes (at most) of funny, the remainder is padded, bloated garbage.

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Posted

Many Thanks, Vultural!

I think there is nobody like you who i so active to share your recommendations on movies, Keep up the good work!

1 person likes this

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Posted

Unfortunately for many, I do watch few blockbusters and zero super-hero films.

Elsewhere, I have been taken to task for all the French cinema I watch.  Too bad.

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Posted

Wrongfully Accused - 1998 - 6/10

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Premier violinist is accused of entrepreneur's murder.
He flees, stays one step ahead of determined law enforcement, and searches for the real killer.
Rapid fire spoof of topical films is probably Leslie Nielsen's last good vehicle.
It is dating, however.  Puns and sight gags overflow.  Little sarcasm or ridicule.
These jokes would be apparent to audiences twenty years ago.
"Lord Of The Dance," The Fugitive, Mission Impossible, Baywatch, dozens more.
Silly, sometimes confusing, sometimes labored.
Audiences with a taste for slapstick will giggle, jaded palates may well jeer at grandpa.

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Posted

Thérèse Desqueyroux - 2012 - 6/10
AKA - Thérèse

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Childhood confidants Thérèse and Anne grow up, grow apart in the 1920s.
Thérèse marries Anne's (much older?) brother to merge two landed estates.
No passion involved, a business arrangement.
Anne, meanwhile, spins into the dizzying affair of doomed ecstacy.
Story progresses slowly, sourly, in disconnected fashion.
Audrey Tautou and Anaïs Demoustier are miscast as childhood, now adult, friends.
Their eleven year age different is apparent and renders them implausible.
Downer, dull, listless, and increasingly unbelievable.

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Posted

Chris Tarrant Extreme Railways - Xmas Express - 2016 - 6/10

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Another wintry alternative.
Tarrant, a grizzled alternative to upbeat, rictus-smile teeth, perky presenters (that I want to pitch off a cliff) tackles the Scandinavian rails in winter.
Yeah, better him than me.
OK, if you are into travel flicks, or even history, for that matter.
Mountains of ice and snow, but very little xmas.
Watchable - forgettable.

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Posted

The Wicked City - 1992 - 6/10
AKA - Yíu Sau Dōu Síh  /  妖獸都市

Gent follows good time girl, Perrier, to her room for an intimate exchange of fluids.
As the docking sequence is about to commence, she transforms - oh no! - into a monster!!!!

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Too bad for her, he's a special kinda cop, hunting the monsters than are on planet earth.
OK, I saw this when it came out and they are reptoids or raptors, not monsters.
They mate with humans, slaughter humans, suck up gobs of electricity, control mega corporations.
Based on manga or anime, I suspect it presupposes familiarity with the material.
I like this film, but the narrative and backstory have always confused me.
The film is packed with sfx, some odd, others inventive.  Editing is brisk, the pace downright hectic.
I always felt much of the tone and comments were vague references to the coming takeover in 1997.
One of the funnier references is for the addictive drug, "Happiness," which is slang for "I'm coming!"

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L'adversaire - 2002 - 6/10
AKA - The Adversary

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Doctor at WHO carries a huge burden, as well as responsibility for several lives.
He manages saving accounts for relatives, investing carefully, reaping double digit interest.
And yet - the books are not open.  A matter of trust, understand?
During the day, he sits in his car for hours, lunches with a friend's mistress.
Reserved, almost maddening film is based on real events, and follows the actual individual accurately.
Mundane, banal, head-scratching at times.
Less of a con, more of the double life.  Makes one wonder how he danced on the edge for over a decade.

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Robert Aickman:: Author of Strange Tales - 2015 - 6/10

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Very good biography of influential horror writer.
Not that his writings slip neatly into that particular niche.
Aickman preferred to term them "strange" stories.
Their structure, characters, and outcomes can be maddeningly elusive.
Criticism.  The sound quality is poor, only Reggie Oliver is discernible throughout.
Commentary from others ranges from enlightening to minor interest.
Aickman's involvement with the inland canal restoration is a pleasant contrast his lonelier habits.
(For those curious about canals, seek out Prunella and Timothy.)
Nice selection of television adaptations, especially so since few of these have been seen outside of Britain.
Labour of love from Tartarus Press is well worth seeking out and, as of 2018, is available on Youtube.
For horror readers wanting to break from blood, children, zombies, wh****ot, check out Aickman's  "Cold Hand In Mine" collection, which I believe is available in ebook.

 

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Posted

The Tattooed Stranger - 1950 - 5/10

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Unknown female is found murdered in Central Park.
Only identifying mark, a tattoo - No, make that two linked tattooes.
Police procedural plays like a "Dragnet" knockoff.
Cast are all obscure players, save for Jack Lord in a bit.
(One of the flatmates reminded me of Beverly Michaels, but I found no evidence.)
No real twists as detectives track down identity and motive.

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Posted

Small Time Crooks - 2000 - 6/10

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Iffy Woody Allen vehicle is front loaded with the premise and wisecracks early on.
Midway, the narrative takes a turn and the film runs out of steam.
Allen, a very - very - small timer, decides to buy small shop near the bank.
Get his wife to front the joint, sell flowers, cookies, books, whatever, while he lugs in tunneling equipment.
Stale idea, though fortunately that business is rarely shown.
Tracey Ullman wonderfully cast as sharp tongued spouse.
Hugh Grant memorable as interested party.
As always with Allen's mixed affairs, a tighter edit could have made this much better.

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McQueen - 2018 - 6/10

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Penetrating documentary of the troubled fashion designer.
Good overview of his journey from talented, omnivorous cutter to apprenticeship with leading houses.
After he formed his own company his runway shows became legendary.
Hiring on to Givenchy seemed a stumble, which is analyzed.
Film does not shy away from McQueen's darker aspect and excesses, leading to the final act.
Perhaps better for fashionistas, though accessible to the curious.

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Posted

Cible Émouvante - 1993 - 6/10
AKA - Wild Target

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Victor Meynard, number one hitman never misses, never fails.
Until he is given the contract to whack a small time con artist.
An attractive, if sarcastic, con artist.
French comedy does not spare in the assassinations, and is laced with black humor.
Remade in 2010 with Bill Nighy, although that version seems more reserved and lacks the joie de vivre.

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