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-   -   What Films Have You Seen Recently? (https://www.cult-labs.com/forums/general-film-discussions/220-what-films-have-you-seen-recently.html)

davcol 6th June 2021 01:16 PM

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Dawn of the Dead 2004
I remember being excited for this and feeling underwhelmed by the actual film. Back when it was released there was a ten minute teaser for it on Channel 4 that showed the best part of the film i.e the intro.
On the plus side there are some good if unbelievable action sequences. The downside is the dialogue. I hate overly emotional, contrived filler and I understand that this is the same director who made Army of the Dead so that makes perfect sense.
At least they tried to subvert expectations with regards to the survivors unlike Army of the Dead.

davcol 6th June 2021 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs (Post 653783)
Return of the Jedi (1983)

Look i couldn't just watch Empire with THAT ending, i had to know what happened next so Return of the Jedi it was.

As Justin alluded to earlier, the Lucas ****ing about does take something away from this film, mainly in the opening third, in fact the whole Jabba's palace act felt like it was from a different universe to what had gone before in The Empire Strikes Back, from it's extended band sequence to the burping Sarlacc pitt, it strained credibility a little.

However it really picks up during acts II and III with the space assault on the new Death Star, the battle on Endor and Luke coming face to face with the Emperor, and as usual my spine tingled as Darth Vader saved his son by killing the Emperor.

One or two sequences made me smile as usual. Luke asking Obi Wan's spirit why he never told him when he was alive that Vader was his father. Naturally Obi Wan replies with some convoluted bullshit when what he meant to say was "George had no idea his first space opera would become the global phenomenon that it did, spawning two sequels that had absolutely zero storyline at the time the first film was released".

Incidentally as i was searching for the poster to finish this post with i noticed a load of Return of the Jedi related questions on Google. Clicking on them expanded the question with an answer.... A question that appeared to have been written by a brain dead dickhead answered by another brain dead dickhead.

Why are Ewoks hated?

People hate Ewoks because people think they're ugly and have stupid stuff about them that it it is weird that they were loved when the movie first came out, now porgs have overtook them in fan-reception, people have grown to despise the Ewoks

I was a fan of these when I was a kid and for some reason Empire was the one I would repeatedly rent out. I liked the story in that one better than the other two.
I have old copies of the first three that haven't been tinkered with and these changes do nothing positive other than distract me from the story.
With regards to Return of the Jedi i love the opening act apart from boba fett falling into the pit. Don t mind the Ewok bit, the space battle isnt as good as Star Wars though.

Justin101 6th June 2021 03:47 PM

A Quiet Place (2018)

I'll be the first to admit that I can be quite sceptical about modern horror films, especially more so when the Platinum Dunes banner comes up at the beginning. However, I'm pleasantly surprised by A Quiet Place and I'm also a nervous wreck after watching it.

The plot is very simple. Presumed to be from space, Earth has been over run by some disgusting looking creatures (Lovecraftian minus the tentacles) that are blind but have excellent hearing. If you make any noise they will find you and kill/eat you. For 90 minutes we follow the Abbott family as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby. The oldest of the kids is deaf so sign language is used as device for the family to communicate without making any noise.

The tension is real, at one point I literally jumped out of my seat haha, probably because I watched the film with noise cancelling headphones and I didn't realise quite how loud I had them turned up due to the lack of dialogue :lol:

Worth watching!

https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-cont...ce11.jpg?w=620

gag 6th June 2021 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin101 (Post 653806)
A Quiet Place (2018)

I'll be the first to admit that I can be quite sceptical about modern horror films, especially more so when the Platinum Dunes banner comes up at the beginning. However, I'm pleasantly surprised by A Quiet Place and I'm also a nervous wreck after watching it.

The plot is very simple. Presumed to be from space, Earth has been over run by some disgusting looking creatures (Lovecraftian minus the tentacles) that are blind but have excellent hearing. If you make any noise they will find you and kill/eat you. For 90 minutes we follow the Abbott family as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby. The oldest of the kids is deaf so sign language is used as device for the family to communicate without making any noise.

The tension is real, at one point I literally jumped out of my seat haha, probably because I watched the film with noise cancelling headphones and I didn't realise quite how loud I had them turned up due to the lack of dialogue :lol:

Worth watching!

https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-cont...ce11.jpg?w=620

I've just come back from watching 2nd one,
I won't say anything about it but go to the cinema and watch it, if you liked first one then you'll definitely enjoy the this one, it's good and a great sequel, there was only me and 2 others, the surround sound at times literally felt like something was behind you in the distance background it was very well done.

The creature and at times felt like I was watching a film version of the last of us.

Demdike@Cult Labs 6th June 2021 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gag (Post 653807)
the surround sound at times literally felt like something was behind you in the distance background it was very well done.

According to a Letterboxd friend it's the surround sound that makes the film. Streamed in HD it makes full use of all speakers especially in Dolby ATMOS.

@Justin - Did you watch it with speakers or via a sound bar?

I wasn't impressed when i saw it on dvd but a Blu-Ray with improved surround may make all the difference.

Justin101 6th June 2021 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs (Post 653808)
According to a Letterboxd friend it's the surround sound that makes the film. Streamed in HD it makes full use of all speakers especially in Dolby ATMOS.

@Justin - Did you watch it with speakers or via a sound bar?

I wasn't impressed when i saw it on dvd but a Blu-Ray with improved surround may make all the difference.

Headphones, it's quite noisy outside today so wanted to block the sound out, glad I did, so it wasn't surround, just stereo, but the use of the quiet times is what makes it so tense, also most of the dialogue is whispered. Also, I didn't mention it up there but Emily Blunt is fantastic!

Demdike@Cult Labs 6th June 2021 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin101 (Post 653809)
Headphones, it's quite noisy outside today so wanted to block the sound out, glad I did, so it wasn't surround, just stereo, but the use of the quiet times is what makes it so tense, also most of the dialogue is whispered. Also, I didn't mention it up there but Emily Blunt is fantastic!

Of course, you said you watched it on headphones in your review.

My head is frazzled by tv's.

MrBarlow 6th June 2021 07:16 PM

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Paperhouse. 1988.

Anna who feels lost and bored finds solace in her drawings, she draws a house and when she dreams, she finds herself at the house with a disabled boy then a darker reality looms over her.

I wouldn't say this was a horror, even though it did get labeled it when it was released, director Bernard Rose does give it a haunting touch to the film with a somewhat dark background score by Stanley Myers/Hans Zimmer. It is more drama/fantasy film about escaping reality and heading to a new found place of solitude. Charlotte Burke plays the lead character in her only film and does a great performance.

I saw this in the early 90s when it was on t.v. and Ben Cross creeped the hell out of me being Anna's father in the real world but in her dreams he was like one evil B@stard, talk about being Jekyll and Hyde, yet the film shows how much of a versatile actor he was. This is one I would recommend to watch when it's nice and peaceful with no distractions.

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nicholasrope 6th June 2021 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Demoncrat (Post 653552)
Strike Commando (1986, Arizal)

This I wants to see in 4K now :nod::lol::hail:

When Chris Mitchum's son's birthday bash goes ... off kilter, his reaction is mainly the reason that this is now my film of this year and I'm not budging.
See it and disagree, I dare you all

:lol::nod::nod::nod:;);):hail::hail::hail::hail:


Ahem. Twas rather entertaining and now about to peruse Lethal Hunter from the same director, it already looks like a winner ... a new director! .... sighs ..... :nod:

I'm assuming that this is The Reb Brown Movie with one scene where they were trying to be serious but comes off as rather corny and unintentionally funny (Disneyland)

Also as a Russian Baddie who shouts Americanski a lot.

nicholasrope 6th June 2021 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcol (Post 653803)
Dawn of the Dead 2004
I remember being excited for this and feeling underwhelmed by the actual film. Back when it was released there was a ten minute teaser for it on Channel 4 that showed the best part of the film i.e the intro.
On the plus side there are some good if unbelievable action sequences. The downside is the dialogue. I hate overly emotional, contrived filler and I understand that this is the same director who made Army of the Dead so that makes perfect sense.
At least they tried to subvert expectations with regards to the survivors unlike Army of the Dead.

I must admit, I rather enjoyed this. It's what a remake/cover should be. Stays true to the original but makes changes to make it different but not completely change the overall story.

iank 6th June 2021 09:36 PM

Invasion USA. Richard Lynch heads an army of terrorists determined to bring the US to its knees and only Chuck Norris can stop him! Ludicrous 80s action flick that's utterly moronic but just about watchable thanks to its general 80sness.

MrBarlow 6th June 2021 09:49 PM

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The Rejuvenator. 1988.

A ageing actress hires a scientist to create a formula to make her look young and get the spotlight again, the formula she uses has monstrous side effects.

This is a take on the "Fountain of youth tale" or in this case the Serum of youth, that blends with some decent acting, the script may be at times all over the place and some good make up effects from Ed French but again it's the 80s and why we love these films from out younger days.

For a homage to Jekyll and Hyde (this was what I thought it was) it was decent with some good gore and blood splatter, it does combine the slasher genre with a monster movie genre it did make a good combination even though it shouldn't work but the makers tried their best to make sure it did, this is one of those forgotten movies but thankfully someone uploaded on youtube.

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Demdike@Cult Labs 6th June 2021 10:06 PM

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The Longest Day (1962)

I've reviewed this before. It's a great document of the D-Day landings which took place 77 years ago today on the beaches of France.

I'd simply like to say that this was the best looking Blu-Ray that i've seen to date. Absolutely stunning in it's clarity.

The difference in picture and sound quality to the dvd is immense.

Dave Boy 7th June 2021 06:44 AM

..And another!

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R6e71926c7...sl=&pid=ImgRaw

Yeah, the picture on the Blu ray is outstanding!

MrBarlow 7th June 2021 06:36 PM

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The Watcher In The Woods. 1980.

When a American family move to a English countryside cottage, the two daughters begin to hear and see things that were connected to a tragedy that happened 30 years earlier involving a twelve year old girl.

The era of the 80s when Disney went from making happy children films then going darker and probably terrifying to a younger audience but at least Bette Davis managed to keep her cool in this and not bitch slap people. Future Bond Girl Lynne Holly-Johnson plays the older sister who is seeing the apparition the deceased girl while Kyle Richards hears the voices. Ms Richards was a decent talented young actress before she became a a Real Diva...I mean a Real Housewife. There is some good co stars from Caroll Baker, Ian Bannen and David McCallum, even after 40 years this film hasn't really aged at all and still has some quite good suspense moments.

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There is a remake from 2017, has anyone seen it ? if so is it worth a glance?

Nordicdusk 7th June 2021 08:54 PM

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Some martial arts students are on a trip to find a fabled island that is haunted by the ghosts of martial artists that have lost their honor. On top of that the island is inhabited by cannibalistic monks who are running a deal with a gang from the mainland trafficking sex workers for the monk to feast upon. But we are not done there apart from ghosts sex worker cannibal monks and organised criminals there are also zombies on the island and the waters are also filled with man eating piranhas :lol:.

Everything about this film is absolutely ridiculous the characters the acting the dialogue the scenarios every single detail but it's entertaining as hell. The really must of worked hard to find one of the ugliest and oddest looking cast for this film :lol:. I gotta give a shout out to the director he used every opportunity possible to have tits on screen even in the most ridiculous situations just tits for the sake of tits :lol:. The martial arts is both awesome and hilarious stand out scene is when one guy tried to doing a flying kick through a truck window to stop one of the thugs getting away which as you can imagine was a completely pointless endeavour :lol:

If you like shit films and tits this is your dream come true :lol:

7/10

MrBarlow 7th June 2021 09:13 PM

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The Night Flier. 1997.

A reporter goes on a trail of a murderer known as " The Night Flier".

Stephen King has brought us amazing wonderful stories over the years and managed to do a story of a vampire called Dwight Renfield (homage to Dwight Frye who played Renfield), the film does have it's flaw moments but Miguel Ferrer's acting can make you forget them as the reporter Richard Dees. This has the hallmarks of King's work, with Suspense, horror, and bit of a messed up ending that somehow pays off decently. Originally was not really a big fan of this but after a few watches it is enjoyable.

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Nordicdusk 7th June 2021 09:32 PM

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Special FX master Roland Tyler is hired by a government agency to stage the murder of a high ranking mob boss who is about to go into witness protection. Once the murder is staged the agency double crosses Roland and now there is a hit on him and now he must use his skills to save his life and find out what is really going on.

F/X is a great film with plenty of action and suspense its pretty fast paced with little to no filler just pure entertainment. There are some great ideas and the use of Rolands FX work is brilliant and clever but the start of the film has to be Brian Dennehy i love him in every film he is in he has so much presence and steals every scene he is in he had a bit of everything in his performances he can be light hearted or hard and nails taking no shit from anyone and we get a bit of all that here. It had been years since i last saw F/X i had both of them on VHS so it really brought me back watching this again and it was just as much fun as i remembered it i will definitely go back to it again.

Also a great tune for the final credits so 80s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY4cVhXxW64

8/10

MrBarlow 8th June 2021 05:46 PM

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The Old Dark House. 1963.

A American staying in England is invited to a house by his friend, when he arrives his friend is dead and is introduced to his friend's family who seem to be getting killed in mysterious circumstances.

William's Castle's homage to the old 30s-40s dark house murder mystery movies but this has a odd ball of characters and some good laughs in it that makes it entertaining. Tom Poston plays the car salesman who is invited the a big country house and finds himself involved in a mystery. Fenella Fielding plays the relative who has a over protective mute father, Mervyn Johns plays the eccentric who has built a ark and believes the ending is coming and Robert Mortley who thinks the American is a distant relative to the family. Mad cap comedy with some suspense but certainly worth a watch.

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MrBarlow 8th June 2021 07:22 PM

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The Ghost and The Guest. 1943.

A couple on honeymoon end up staying at a dark gloomy house.

It's amazing how directors back in the day can create a film under a hour and able to film everything at a pace yet some directors today hurry things along and miss bits out. This was a screwball comedy with the house that reveals it's secrets and a man always talking about the ones he hanged and able to make a joke out of it, the jokes may be outdated but still laughable to hear.

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The Reaper Man@Cult Labs 8th June 2021 07:36 PM

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Started into my WEIRD WISCONSIN boxset with MONSTER A GO GO.

Strangely.after reading so many negative reviews,this held my interest for the sixt eight minute duration.
Even though the total budget was roughly ten bob!

Don't know if I can handle a second night in a row though with Invasion from Inner Earth!

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 9th June 2021 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin101 (Post 653795)
I'm going on the record with this hot take. I like Ewoks :lol:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._W_Warrick.png

Edit, just found this EPIC depiction of the fandom's hatred of Ewoks, this picture is called Porg Vs Ewok :D

https://cdn.drawception.com/images/p...FEY4c7tb-2.png

I can't stand Ewoks, the militant wing of The Care Bears. I find them annoying and distracting from the action sequences.

They aren't as grating as Jar Jar Binks, but few things are.

Demdike@Cult Labs 9th June 2021 01:01 PM

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The Diabolical (2015)

Some rather cool creature effects give the supernatural entities a look of being shat out of hell rather than the usual stuff these films generally throw at us. But the story felt too familiar to make it successful or particularly memorable even though it's held together by the always watchable Ali Larter.

Demoncrat 9th June 2021 08:09 PM

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Disco Godfather (1979, Robert Wagoner)

RRM sports the most amazing one piece outfit for the majority of this film, for this alone we must be grateful :nod:
Bad stuff is happenin' in the neighbourhood and Dolemite feels his civic muscle needs flexing in his own particular style ... so to speak :lol:
Featuring a rather crazed end section, this tale of do goodery and disco does teeter on the tracks in a couple of spots but we got there in the end praise the lawd etc etc. A tad cloying, which is a phrase I never thought I'd use in a Rudy Ray Moore review :laugh:.



Breadcrumb Trail (2014, Lance Bangs)

The story of Slint told in a brisk but informative way. Not a lot of ego on show, though plenty to tell ahem. Spawning from the local hardore scene but eventually carving their own path, watching this now may be redundant considering how much of that sound I've heard regurgitated in various forms over the years.
Ignoring that, it's a great band documentary in that when you finally get to actually see footage you will say it was worth it. Ahem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29MBGwzEhMc




Runaway Nightmare (1982, Michael Cartel)

And where's this been all my life?? :nod::lol::nod:
Truly a one off. Is it one man's midlife crisis with incidental music? I sat properly agog with this mother. Two ... entymologists are taking a break and they spies some nefariousness, so pokes their proboscis in and regrets this action almost immediately. What transpires next is akin to a dream after watching too many episodes of The Outer Limits and digesting the sort of mushrooms that Hugh wouldn't recommend :laugh:
Was a tad sludge like at this point, so will revisit shortly ... juuuust to make sure ahem.




Special Silencers (1979, Arizal)

Ahem. Last but least in no way shape, form, substance ETC, this is my trifecta isn't it?? :lol::pop2::nod:
.... aaaaaaaaand he disnae let us down either. The print (cropped 4:3), well that's another matter, 4K this NOW :hail:

Barry Prima turns up this time to kick folk as Peter obviously finally got that appointment at the hairdressers he so badly needed :pound:
Yet again the dialogue, the stunts, the generous claret and one particular effect just reminded me that there is something unique about the films from this year imho.

Dave Boy 10th June 2021 09:13 AM

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SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007)

This is where it all went wrong! A mess of a movie with too many story threads.
It all starts off so well, and I thought The Sandman was excellent. The Peter and Mary Jane story was also good.
Studio interference had Venom included who was popular in the comics at the time. This leads to downright embarrassing and stupid scenes of Peter's change of character as he dances and struts down the street and in a bar. Awful!
Harry's appearance as the new Goblin is also rushed and looks like a sky surfer from 2000AD comic!
Gwen Stacy was another character forced to the roster but she is good although her time is limited.
Spider-Man 4 was due to go into production but director Raimi had had enough of studio interference and left the franchise.

MrBarlow 10th June 2021 11:13 AM

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Legionnaire. 1998.

Alain is a boxer paid to take a dive in the second round, when he doesn't he is chased and hides in a recruiting office for the French Foreign Legion, while the gangster wants him killed.

Even though this is a Van Damme picture don't expect him to be throwing a lot of kicks and punches, this is more about a war mixed with drama. Steven Berkoff stars as Sgt. Steinkampf who wants to break the new recruits and turn them into real men, usually in some films I have seen Berkoff in he ends up being a real prick, in this he is more of a pleasant actor to like. This is actually a decent film to watch with a decent background score and taken seriously and loosely based on what happened in the 1920s with a war that broke out that seemed to be forgotten about.

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MrBarlow 10th June 2021 11:32 AM

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Machine Gun Kelly. 1958.

George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his gang pull off one bank robbery and then another, with his girl Flo, the police are now looking for them both after they pull off a kidnapping that leads to a stand off with police.

Roger Corman is probably better known as a B grade movie director and often associated with Vincent Price with their movies regarding Edgar Allan Poe, Corman managed to turn to directing his first gangster movie With Charles Bronson as Kelly. Saw this yesterday on T.V. and loved it. Before becoming a Vigilante, Bronson is a tough guy in this as the wanted criminal and Susan Cabot as the leading lady Flo. At times this can be suspenseful right up to the end, Corman knew how to make a decent 1930s gangster movie and make it look authentic and entertaining.

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MrBarlow 10th June 2021 04:10 PM

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Dead Of Night. 1943.

Guest staying at country house are entwined to tell each other stories involving the supernatural.

This has has always been a classic anthology tales of creative mind back in the day, even re-watching it again today still had me on the edge of my seat. The tales are told perfectly with brilliant acting and directing, of course with each story there is always a unexpected twist to add the the mix. This had to be a inspiration for the anthology films that Hammer and Amicus created that gave us chills to watch when we were younger, Thanks for this one Dem, really enjoyable to see it once more.

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Demoncrat 10th June 2021 06:21 PM

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Abby (1974, William Girdler)

Was worth the wait. The Blackorcist tbh. William Marshall to boot!!! Get in!!
Emmett Williams just can't make head nor tail of his wife's behaviour recently, luckily for him his dad just might have the answer and it ain't Relate :pound:.
A scream. Slightly more grounded than the Italian knock offs, though a documentary it's not ;), this tale of terror has all the requisites and Marshall plays the stoic to the hilt.
REWATCH. :nod::nod:

MrBarlow 10th June 2021 09:49 PM

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Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice. 2016.

Concerning what happened in Metropolis, Senators and the public think Superman should account for his actions, Bruce Wayne takes on the responsibilities to bring down the man of steel, while Lex Luthor tries to create something new.


I'm not the biggest fan of Man Of Steel movie, practically called Zach Snyder alot of names thinking he had butchered my favourite superhero, like probably a lot of people I was excited to see this when it came out and was not impressed, I decided to give this new 3 hour version a look and I have changed my mind...this was f@cking awesome. There is a lot more to the story and doesn't seem to be rushed from start to finish the way the theatrical version was and some more added comical moments.

Ben Affleck probably wasn't everyone's choice for Batman after the disaster of the other superhero charcter he done, but in this he is able to do it decently and pack a good punch or two. I'm still in two minds about Jesse Eisenberg being Lex Luthor, Gene Hackman to me will always be the bald villain and Michael Rosenbaum from the t.v. series, maybe after a few watches I may take to him.

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MrBarlow 11th June 2021 05:51 PM

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Zack Snyder's Justice League.

After Superman's sacrifice, Bruce Wayne tries to recruit those with special abilities with Diana Prince when a new threat looms over them.

When this got released in 2017 I watched it and it looked all over the place and a few plot holes, when this was version was released I was hesitant to buy it, this was 4 hours of my life well spent, this was the version that should have been released in the first place, the acting is top notch from everyone, CGI effects do not disappoint, only bug bearing I had was the ending that was left open with Martian Hunter, dam you Ben Affleck for the leaving the role, maybe Robert Pattinson can do a decent job in the up and coming film. This is one you can watch with the lights out and absorb everything that Zack put into it.

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nicholasrope 11th June 2021 06:30 PM

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Dream Horse

Residents from a rural Welsh town form a syndicate to own a Racehorse. This is a decent effort, worth a watch if you have the time.

Nobody

A retired Government Assassin who has laid dormant returns to normal when he encounters The Russian Mob. A brisk film with some decent action. Give it a try if you're into these type of films.

Moonwalker

A very weird Michael Jackson vehicle which is part Concert/Video footage mixed with some random vignettes. Definitely one of those films where too much creative freedom was allowed. Surely a proper Film with a script throughout would have been more successful. Can only imagine what people who saw this at the Cinema and rented it out thought.

Falling Down

Michael Douglas is a man who snaps and takes his frustrations on anyone or any business that annoys him. Robert Duvall is the Detective who is on his last day before retirement chasing him. A forgotten gem, shows that all you need is a good story not fancy F/X or camera work.

In the early 90's, Warner Bros were a very hot company with this, The Fugitive, The Bodyguard, Under Siege and Showdown In Little Tokyo.

Hitman's Bodyguard

Ryan Reynolds is the down on his luck Bodyguard who must transport assassin (And enemy) Samuel L. Jackson to The Hague to testify against a War Criminal. Better when you first see this but seems to decrease in enjoyment with every viewing.

iank 11th June 2021 09:47 PM

Madman. A campfire legend comes true when a bunch of camp counsellors are attacked by an axe-wielding lunatic out of local legend, "Mad Man Mars". This 1981 slasher horror is as familiar as it gets, but is pretty well made and atmospheric. The only cast member I recognise is Gaylen Ross, who was the heroine in the original Dawn of the Dead, and the ending is a tad abrupt but this was pretty entertaining for all its familiarity, helped by a cracking Blu ray restoration. :nod:

Susan Foreman 12th June 2021 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nicholasrope (Post 654109)
Moonwalker

A very weird Michael Jackson vehicle which is part Concert/Video footage mixed with some random vignettes. Definitely one of those films where too much creative freedom was allowed. Surely a proper Film with a script throughout would have been more successful. Can only imagine what people who saw this at the Cinema and rented it out thought.

That's one of the films that we had at the cinema when I was working there!

The target audience [pre-teens] loved it, and every time Michael Jackson appeared on the screen they would scream their little heads off. For the adults in the audience, however, it didn't really have the same effect, and when the screening had finished, numerous people were queuing at the box office, trying to get their money back, and more than one came up to me and said: "what time does the actual film start?"

Frankie Teardrop 12th June 2021 09:19 AM

VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST – Very seventies, very Euro, very trashy, very… a single word or phrase wouldn’t do it justice; VBE is not entirely unique, but its pungent wackiness does make it stand out. Passengers aboard a cruise liner are collateral in a mummy’s forlorn search for the reincarnation of his murdered bride. Along the way are numerous flashbacks to a psychedelic ritual, a couple of severed heads, and a bit where the frustrated mummy gets mad, trashes a room and headbutts a mirror! VBE flips between moments of silliness and genuine atmosphere, and this unsteadiness of tone is destabilised further by ponderous stretches where passengers sit around chatting or otherwise have a whale of a time asea. If not for this slight yawn factor, which is not in the end all that galling, VBE might have been some kind of gonzoid semi-classic a la ‘Werewolf Woman’ or numerous others. As it stands, it’s an acquired taste that will probably appeal to devotees of obscure seventies continental horror.

NIGHTWING – Based on the paperback original by Martin Cruz Smith, ‘Nightwing’ is about a sheriff on a Native American reservation who investigates an inexplicable surge in local cattle mutilation; it all turns out to be the work of a cauldron of vampire bats, invoked by an embittered shaman. ‘Nightwing’ has the bearing of one of those well-financed late seventies studio horror flicks – big themes (Native American spirituality and politics), some names, lots of heavy talk, and a leisurely manner accompanied by a lush orchestral score. The elegantly captured New Mexican desert vistas seem more haunting than the bats. Elsewhere, Carlos Rambaldi is responsible for some effects that look like they belong in a film much further down the budgetary scale, which is a shame because the attack scene they’re part of is really quite harrowing. But ‘Nightwing’ is concerned less with monster onslaughts than with non-schlocky dramatic elements, which is either plus or a minus, depending on your taste. David Warner gives good crank value as a Van Helsing type who really hates bats.

SHADOW OF THE HAWK – Partnered with ‘Nightwing’ on the newish blu-ray from Eureka is ‘Shadow of the Hawk’, the less consistent but more interesting half of this double bill. The first section of the movie is beguiling, dreamy and disconnected – an apparition with a disturbing carven face appears to haunt the descendent of a Native American village elder. Then it all turns into a bit of a cross-country quest to reach the place responsible for this weirdness, and we’re faced with an epic road trip through an endless forest, with some spooky cars and a slightly unconvincing bear attack thrown in. The makers get good mileage out of creepy mask-face, but in the end ‘Shadow Of The Hawk’ does flag a bit. Shame the disorientating vibe of the first half hour couldn’t be sustained, but it’s still intermittently eerie and well worth watching on the whole.

THE HOUSE OF USHER – This version is by Alan Birkinshaw, the director of ‘Killer’s Moon’. Possibly the best thing about its first hour is the interior of the House of Usher, which looks like it was set-designed in twenty minutes by someone who spent half their three hundred quid budget on a bit of crack. It’s a headache-inducing clusterf*ck of Victorian bric-a-brac thrown together with plywood and papier mache and is quite mesmerising to behold. The also-quite-mesmerising Oliver Reed glowers in the background, ready to get loud at a moment’s notice, but things never quite pick up until the last half hour or so, when the film finally explodes into madness. The torchbearer of this insanity is Donald Pleasance, an attic dwelling recluse who boasts a drill-mounted armpiece. Yep. I wish they’d gone the whole hog and turned him into some kind of cyborg. Anyway, aforementioned drill is not particularly menacing, as attested to be the scene wherein DP tries to nab the heroine and ends up doing some very ineffectual DIY on a (plywood and papier mache) wall. So, a tale of two halves, no doubt the director’s subtle allusion to Poe’s original story.

THE THEATRE BIZARRE – Udo Kier is the disconcerting on-stage mannequin who presents a handful of short tales of outré horror, most with quite a bloody accent. Dick Stanley is in the mix with a Clark Ashton Smith adaption, the sexed-up fairy tale ‘Mother Of Toads’, but the contributions of Tom Savini and Karim Hussain fare better, being full of cackling mean spiritedness and bleakly rendered weirdness respectively. Anthologies tend to be mixed bags, and ‘Theatre Bizarre’ dips a little in places, although I think I like Buddy Giovinazzo’s messy break-up drama more in retrospect (it all seems like a weird contrivance designed to get to a big gushy throat slashing). Another Severin-produced film, I do wish they’d do more.

HITCHER IN THE DARK – Late period Umberto Lenzi set in a camper van. Starts out like a slasher, but then switches to a kidnap-based set-up a la ‘The Collector’. Its dizzying aesthetic, full of jaunty late eighties pop, Floridan sun, and quick zooms, is pure Filmirage. Despite this wonkiness of tone and other factors such as the impromptu appearance of a wet T-shirt competition, a certain grimness pushes through, mainly because of the faint sleaze and the innate claustrophobia of camper vans. The two leads are also OK in it, although the rest of the acting is what you might expect. If you like films from the painful last gasp of the Italian horror and exploitation boom, then you’ll certainly find something worthwhile about ‘Hitcher in the Dark’.

Demoncrat 12th June 2021 09:33 AM

As always F ... :hail::hail::hail:

Demdike@Cult Labs 12th June 2021 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frankie Teardrop (Post 654132)

NIGHTWING – Based on the paperback original by Martin Cruz Smith, ‘Nightwing’ is about a sheriff on a Native American reservation who investigates an inexplicable surge in local cattle mutilation; it all turns out to be the work of a cauldron of vampire bats, invoked by an embittered shaman. ‘Nightwing’ has the bearing of one of those well-financed late seventies studio horror flicks – big themes (Native American spirituality and politics), some names, lots of heavy talk, and a leisurely manner accompanied by a lush orchestral score. The elegantly captured New Mexican desert vistas seem more haunting than the bats. Elsewhere, Carlos Rambaldi is responsible for some effects that look like they belong in a film much further down the budgetary scale, which is a shame because the attack scene they’re part of is really quite harrowing. But ‘Nightwing’ is concerned less with monster onslaughts than with non-schlocky dramatic elements, which is either plus or a minus, depending on your taste. David Warner gives good crank value as a Van Helsing type who really hates bats.

SHADOW OF THE HAWK – Partnered with ‘Nightwing’ on the newish blu-ray from Eureka is ‘Shadow of the Hawk’, the less consistent but more interesting half of this double bill. The first section of the movie is beguiling, dreamy and disconnected – an apparition with a disturbing carven face appears to haunt the descendent of a Native American village elder. Then it all turns into a bit of a cross-country quest to reach the place responsible for this weirdness, and we’re faced with an epic road trip through an endless forest, with some spooky cars and a slightly unconvincing bear attack thrown in. The makers get good mileage out of creepy mask-face, but in the end ‘Shadow Of The Hawk’ does flag a bit. Shame the disorientating vibe of the first half hour couldn’t be sustained, but it’s still intermittently eerie and well worth watching on the whole.

I'd seen this Eureka release and thought it looked interesting. Although it would appear both films are flawed they do sound pretty good. Glad i've finally read some thoughts on them.

Justin101 12th June 2021 11:29 AM

^^^ Same, I've been interested in picking that set up myself, they seem interesting and a little bit different to the usual stuff.

Demdike@Cult Labs 12th June 2021 12:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The Fifth Element (1997)

Luc Besson's French science fiction spectacular starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman, although a good film, is really an outrageous triumph of style over substance.

Although sophisticated theres a constant superficial aesthetic to it all thanks to the brilliantly inventive production and effects work and Jean-Paul Gaultier's wild costumes making it all seem like sci-fi camp rather than a thrilling extravaganza ala The Matrix. When it comes down to it the best parts are all seemingly 'borrowed' from other movies such as Blade Runner (1982) and Stargate (1994)

Visually it's stunning and the recent StudioCanal 4K remaster is jaw droppingly good.

Demoncrat 12th June 2021 09:54 PM

VooDoo (2017, Tom Costabile)

FF. One of the more hilarious efforts that I've seen. A New Orleans lass escapes to LA when her private life takes a weird turn. Containing one genuinely eerie image, the moral being "you can run, but you can't hide" it seems.
Opens with a rather horrible sequence which promised much, but it descends into imagery that seemed superficially "scary" but was quite risible tbh. Daft wee flick.



Heaven Is Only In Hell (1994, Wim Vink)

SOV. A mechanic buys a house and a young woman is plagued by ethereal voices. How these events eventually entwine is a tad lacklustre tbh. There is some fun with the fact that this voice is rather British ahem considering this is a Dutch production. Not as grotty as some of these things. A shame really.


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