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Old 08-14-2017, 06:15 PM   #10121
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The Borderlands (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2781832/


British found footage movie, a team of investigators from The Vatican are investigating strange local phenomena but come across some pretty dark secrets, annoyingly a lot of it is filmed in the dark meaning the shadows went into overtime. Not much in the way of the usual jump scares but that's not a bad thing as they are getting almost too predictable now.
Are the weird goings on for real or is it being done for publicity ??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z_JlrefqWY

I like the scene where Deacon smashes one of the local teenage toerags on his hooter


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Old 08-14-2017, 07:20 PM   #10122
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C.H.U.D. (1984)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087015/


Classic 80's monster horror with a superb cast, great opening scene as a woman is walking her dog at night when something lifts up the manhole cover and grabs her from under the sewers. A photographer is working on a story about local vagrants who have been going missing but it's only when somebody important goes missing that local officials take note.

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller, there's a clue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTj4EWfR1z8



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Old 08-14-2017, 09:48 PM   #10123
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The Equaliser with Denzel Washington. I love a move where smug, evil bastards cruelly victimise some poor innocent only to find themselves facing a lone hero who's mad as hell and not going to take it any more.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:22 PM   #10124
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Calvary (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/year/2014/


A fantastic movie and not one I would normally choose to watch but I'm glad I did.

At the start of the film a priest (Brendan Gleeson) is taking confession when the speaker tells him that he has a grudge against the priesthood and has decided to kill a priest on the coming Saturday and tells Father James he has been chosen.
He tries to go about the normal duties of a small town Irish priest but as the week goes on he tries to tend to his flock as normal but things start to fall apart. It's loaded with dark humour and has a great ending and not the cop out that I had expected

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGM5rq_vX4U

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Old 08-15-2017, 09:17 PM   #10125
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Default The Good Witch (2008)



It needed to be rather more edgy and bolder in its use of the supernatural, more like say Bell, Book and Candle, which incidentally is referenced by being the name of the shop opened by the heroine (and alleged witch), Cassandra Nightingale - played very well actually by British actress Catherine Bell. Not for the first time, American film producers looking for someone to play a slightly sinister character invoke the British connection.

Where the film scores:

Catherine Bell: a decidedly hot thirty-something woman who has this acting part absolutely nailed.
Some reasonable child actors playing the children who are much more alive than the adults to the "otherness" of Cassandra's identity and who need time to put away their supernatural mistrust and gradually accept her overtures of friendship. Particularly good: Hannah Endicott-Douglas as the chief of police's little girl, who has been plagued by bad dreams of monsters ever since her mother died. Cassandra gives her a "dreamcatcher" charm to put on her wall above the bed and intercept the bad dreams, but then rather cutely warns her that she must not dream of cute, fluffy bunny rabbits. Sure enough, little Lori is soon sleeping as a little girl should; but is complaining plaintively that she can't get rid of the bunny rabbits.
Some interesting ideas about tension between conservative bible-belt Americans and a woman who does not toe the conventional religious line. This tension is the real driver of the conflict which occurs in the film. The scene where the Mayor's wife leads a picket to boycott Cassie's shop and to invite citizens to sign a petition to close the shop down, while Cassie is forced to watch this mean and unprovoked attack on her livelihood through the shop window and say nothing reminded me poignantly of the photos I have seen of 1930s Germany and Brownshirts picketing Jewish owned shops; I am pretty sure this parallel is intended, particularly when the Mayor's two teenaged boys re-visit the shop on Hallow'een and deface the windows with miserable and spiteful graffiti, before smashing one of the windows for good measure.

The point which emerges repeatedly in the movie is that the real wickedness and darkness is not coming from the "witch" at all, but from the banal, everyday people, who is some cases are rather nasty pieces of work. The Mayor's wife is a petty and power hungry, mean spirited and revengeful person. She takes an instant dislike to the newcomer, partly because she lives in the town's "haunted house", The Gray House, which the Mayor's wife wanted to see pulled down for development as an eyesore. Cassie's arrival has put her nose out of joint and for this humourless and self-important woman that is not acceptable. The Mayor is more devious and less open, but also wages a vendetta; it is pretty obvious that by inheriting and rehabilitating the Gray House, Cassandra has come between the Mayor and some very attractive bribes from property developers, and the Mayor is not shy of using his powers quite unscrupulously to get rid of Cassandra, her house and her shop.

Interestingly though, it emerges towards the end of the movie that the Mayor has a line he will not cross. When his children are caught red handed b a policeman vandalising Cassandra's shop, much as the Mayor would have liked to get rid of the shop, keeping his children out of official trouble is far more important and he is quick to accept the olive branch offered when Cassandra asks the police not to press charges. The Mayor is political to his fingertips; plus it turns out that he is not totally a bad father. He is sincerely annoyed with his sons for what they did and with his wife for thoughtlessly inciting them to go to such lengths. He seals the deal with Cassandra by paying for the cost of the damage to the shop and by forcing his errant sons to physically repair and clean up the damage. Sooner than have his kids carry a criminal record, the Mayor will gladly retreat and forgo his nice little earner; he is no angel, but his sons are more important than a bit of cash. Also, when the need is brought home to him, he will take charge of the parenting his wife is mishandling and teach his sons simple things they should already know.

This film is not at all bad, but my criticism is that it could have been a lot better. I think it is a bit neutered so it can be watched by a "family" audience.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:57 PM   #10126
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Catch Me If You Can with Hanks and DiCaprio. Occasionally Hollywood gets everything right. Great Story, perfect casting...
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:55 PM   #10127
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The Outcasts

[

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2597760/

Trailer

AWFUL.

"Best friends Jodi and Mindy have suffered years of torment under the thumb of the school's mean girls Whitney and Mackenzie. They plan to ride out their senior year under the radar, but when they become the victim of a humiliating prank, the two hatch a plan to unite the outcasts of the school and start a social revolution. They join forces with Dave, an affable slacker, Claire, a girl scout with a secret, and Virginia, an overachiever with dirt on everyone."

Sometimes you don't really know why you watch a particular movie. Maybe that's because I love High School comedies or maybe I find Eden Cher & Victoria Justice cute...but the fact is The Outcasts isn't The Breakfeast Club, PCU or American Pie.
It's nothing but a boring, unfunny & full of cliches about nerds getting revenge against a bunch if arrogant rich bitches, stupid jokes and their high school.
Actually I don't even get how this movie got made since it has been made so many times before. Plus it's a PG13 flick so nothing too provocative.
Gosh after the 1st 30 mn I already wanted to stop. It probably took 2 days for the screenwritters to commiy this remake of a remake of a remake of any bad and prude teen comedy made before. They even included the usual Star Wars vs GOT theme. Even Mean Girls was better. Avoid it!
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:31 PM   #10128
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Default War For The Planet Of The Apes

War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)


War For The Planet Of The Apes (WFTPOTA) works fairly well as a cinematic experience: it keeps you engaged and has the odd 'wow!' moment and some successful if broad humour but it's not great, it's too long largely because it has many drawn-out scenes that spend much time establishing points that have already been established. And it has a new ape character who although vital to the development of the plot and the mainstay of the humorous moments, strays very close to Jar Jar Binks territory.

That said I had two strong reactions against the film. The first is that the performance capture has been touted as so excellent that the viewer forgets it's performance capture and takes the apes as 'real'. Much of the time it was obvious that we were watching highly detailed animations which had their facial surfaces responding as human facial musculature would and as human facial bone structure would, not as apes. And those reactions were rooted in human not ape emotions.

The emotions of all mammals are similar but not identical. A smile for a human is a sign of friendship, satisfaction or amusement. For a chimpanzee smiling is an expression of fear and/or an attempt to threaten and intimidate.

These various species of ape acted and responded as humans would, sparing the odd simian hoot.

I was aware of these problems throughout the film.

The animation of bodily movement was awful, particularly when the apes were shown walking upright, which was most of the time, a caricature of the swaying bandy-legged gait all primates but humans must adopt when they walk upright. The animation of the walking apes was no better than a middling-quality 'realistic' computer game.

Further to this we were shown Chimps, Gorillas, Orang Utans walking upright bearing heavy weights held in their arms. Although all great apes have far more upper body strength than humans, they can't balance well even when unladen and would be utterly unable to walk upright carrying - say - a large rock. Reason? Their legs are too short, poorly articulated for walking upright, and, possibly most importantly, no primates except us have buttocks, which help hold us humans upright and also go a very long way to helping us balance.

So for me these 'utterly convincing apes' were for most of the time lost in two Uncanny Valleys, not only not quite convincing as apes but also not quite convincing as humans either, and human expression was what was being emulated here, not ape.

My second reaction against the film was the underlying negativity towards humans and the nonsense that apes with higher intelligence would somehow be more peaceful and noble than us. Common chimpanzees such as we see here with high intelligence but chimpanzee instincts would retain the intense territoriality, viciousness and even murderousness of common chimpanzees, particularly male common chimpanzees. With access to human weaponry they wouldn't be the essentially noble creatures we see in WFTPOTA and its prequels but violent genocidal simian fascists.

The second thing I disliked about this film follows; I try not to give spoilers but to address the depiction of humans in this film I'll have to spoil just a little...

The 'Big Bad' in this film is an army colonel gone renegade in an attempt to stop a mutated 'Simian Flu' (you'll know what that is if you've seen at least the first film in this series) progressing spreading and reducing the intelligence of infected humans to unmodified ape-like level.

This Colonel is so clumsily inserted into the plot and so weakly written that the director and writers haven't even bothered to disguise the fact that he's a direct steal from another much greater film: obviously he's a Colonel, he's gone renegade, he shaves his head bald, he and his soldiers have their base in a hidden compound a long way from anywhere and a couple of times we see graffiti reading 'Ape-pocalypse Now!'.

Talk about subtitling the obvious.

This Colonel is the only human trying to stop the spread of the new variant of Simian Flu and preserve the human race. So that we'll hate him he's depicted as a cruel slave-driver and abuser of apes, pulling together lots of tropes about 'evil white racist American slave masters', tropes irrelevant to his self-defined mission, which is to quarantine uninfected humans to ensure human survival, a mission for which he is prepared to sacrifice even his own family and himself.

So my second complaint is the contempt and hatred expressed in this film not just towards Americans - I'm not American - and the US Military but the plain hatred of humanity from the director and his co-writer, with characterisation, motivation, and human and ape natures distorted to twist the narrative to support that hatred.

You could say 'oh, it's just a allegory' or 'it's just a story' to which I answer 'an allegory about what and in support of what? I'm noticing this perversion of fact and nature in ever more films, always suggesting the same pseudo-liberal agenda of 'Americans/the Military/Big Business/Westerners/humans are utter bastards, except for me and my caring, understanding chums, and the other side is always the good side, no matter what'.

So, to sum up, if you liked 'Avatar' you'll probably like 'War for the Planet of the Apes'. Same positives, same flaws, same underlying rotten message.

Not a patch on the original 'Planet of the Apes' films but as a cinema experience much better than the awful Tim Burton 'Planet of the Apes'.

I'd prefer to have seen this rebooted series directed by someone like Christopher Nolan or perhaps Denis Villeneuve, who both have shown they can handle science fictional themes with sophistication while making engrossing mainstream films and in Nolan's case blockbusters.

To end on a more positive note, the cinema in which I saw WFTPOTA was quite full, mostly with mid-teenage boys who I'm pleased to say were all quiet, well-behaved, kept their mobiles turned off, and didn't eat nostril-assaulting cinema food.
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:07 PM   #10129
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Humongous (1982)
www.imdb.com/title/tt0082537/

A group of youngsters find themselves marooned on an island where many years ago a woman was raped before her dogs jumped on and killed her attacker. Soon they find out they are not alone, the woman got pregnant from that attack and her son was born with deformities from acromegaly. He has managed to outlive his mother but isn't the sort of chap you'd like to meet on holiday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-Pxmat3b1E

full film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsfhGAROtKc


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Old 08-17-2017, 06:22 PM   #10130
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Quote:
After he beats his dad (Joe Mantegna) in a chess match, Josh Waitzkin (Max Pomeranc), a 7-year-old, gets noticed for his talent. He becomes interested in speed chess at the park and learns the game from a hustler named Vinnie (Laurence Fishburne). However, Josh's parents invest in the services of Bruce (Ben Kingsley), a famous coach who has very different practices. Between Bruce's methods and the stress of the competitions, Josh learns that even a chess prodigy cannot make all the right moves.
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