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  #54441  
Old 14th January 2021, 11:46 AM
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Man of Steel (2013) ★★★

A film which is less than the sum of its parts. I really like the casting, especially Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as Kal El's biological and adoptive fathers, respectively, Henry Cavill is very believable as Kal El/Superman, and Michael Shannon is a particularly menacing end powerful Zod.

I've never warmed to Hans Zimmer's overly bombastic score and Zach Snyder's direction, whilst delivering on spectacle, fails to convey any sensitive enjoyment or fun.

Maybe the dark tone is the point, that it's a film which, like Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films, is meant to be taken seriously. In this case, however, I felt the action sequences were too long and without the necessary dramatic tension to make them appropriately engaging.
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Old 14th January 2021, 11:56 AM
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2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 ★★★★★

I've no idea what the ending means, that's probably because I'm not supposed to. What I do know is Stanley Kubrick created an extraordinary piece of work, a technical marvel, a film which is fascinating to watch and keeps me engaged from the first minute to the last.

Furthermore, Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke to go from the birth of man to a new civilisation in just under 2 1/2 hours. When films are released with bladder-bursting runtimes to take you to the end of the latest instalment, a story to be continued in another film, it's worth remembering what a superb exercise in storytelling this was.
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  #54443  
Old 14th January 2021, 12:08 PM
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Flight (2012) ★★★½

A solid, but unspectacular film, and one which is elevated by Denzel Washington's powerhouse performance. Kudos also goes to John Goodman, for his memorable supporting role as the drug dealer who supplies Whip, Washington's alcoholic pilot, with enough downers and uppers to keep him on an even keel.

Batman (1989) ★★★★

"Excuse me. Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?"

Over 30 years after it was released and with many different incarnations of Bruce Wayne/Batman and the Joker, Tim Burton's vision of Gotham City still looks outstanding, Michael Keaton's portrayal of the titular character has probably only been bettered by him, in the (superior) sequel.

Cats (2019) ½

I thought Pitof's Catwoman was the worst film made about felines. I was wrong. This is visually bewildering and narratively nonsensical.
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Old 14th January 2021, 12:11 PM
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Robin and Marian (1976) ★★★★

A very different Robin Hood film to others I've seen, one with a more sombre and melancholy tone than the likes of The Adventures of Robin Hood, Tales of Robin Hood, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and, perhaps obviously, Disney's animated Robin Hood film and Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

The title is fitting because, aside from David Watkin's superb cinematography and John Barry's excellent score, the film succeeds because of the splendid performances from Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. Like their characters, they are (or should be) in the autumn of their careers, no longer virile and sexy stars, but mature adults who really look as if they love one another.

I only saw this because it was released as part of the Premium Collection; I'm glad HMV shows it to be part of that series.

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) ★★★½

A film which is, on a technical level, extremely accomplished and one which features excellent performances from Ian Holm and Ralph Richardson.

As spectacle goes, it's a Tarzan film lacking in adventure or excitement. It really needed an action sequence to quicken the pulse in the third act, similar to 2016's The Legend of Tarzan, though perhaps as a finale rather than half the film.
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  #54445  
Old 14th January 2021, 01:53 PM
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Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (1970)

After a second viewing Eugenie has clambered it's way into my top 3 Jess Franco films. Made in collaboration with Harry Allan Towers,(Don't expect the typical tame, globe trotting affair of which many Towers films are famed for), Eugenie is something else indeed. Although it doesn't indulge itself in the usual Franco excesses of zooms into genitalia it is rather more risque than any other Towers produced film.

Based on the works of the Marquis de Sade, Eugenie is a sado sexual piece of erotica starring Marie Liljedahl as the young Eugenie, left at the island home of Madame Saint Ange (Maria Rohm) and her deranged stepbrother (as played in typically creepy style by the flat haired Jack Taylor), by her father, Franco regular Paul Muller.

Once there Eugenie is seduced by St Ange - The gorgeous Maria Rohm has never been more undressed or kinkier than she is here - and then by Taylor before engaging in a threesome as things really take a turn for the weird when Christopher Lee and a bunch of oddballs enter and watch as the threesome turns into S&M as Eugenie is whipped with a leather strap and what appears to be a mace. The film operates from then on in a semi dream like state with mesmerizing music from Bruno Nicolai and Franco toying with red light filters swirling round the viewers head like a hallucinogenic sexual experiment with Liljedahl and Rohm at the centre of it. Happy days!
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  #54446  
Old 14th January 2021, 02:43 PM
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Gun Crazy (1950) ★★★★½

A taut, thoughtful, and engaging film, no doubt inspired by the real-life exploits of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Has

Peggy Cummins and John Dall are excellent in the lead roles; the chemistry between them is palpable even though the link between sex and violence curtailed by the Hays code.

The film is handsomely filmed with great use of the monochrome a noir aesthetic and there are a couple of brilliant single-shot sequences, particularly one outside a bank robbery, which really cranks up the tension.

I don't think this will ever be regarded as a great film noir, not in the same way as Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, They Live by Night, or The Killers, but anyone who's a fan of that genre and hasn't seen this should seek to rectify this as soon as possible.
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  #54447  
Old 14th January 2021, 04:40 PM
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Cirio H. Santiago is a man full of talents, on this movie you have love, action, martial arts, shooting, bad acting, atrocious dubbing.

Recommend for hardcore fans of Santiago.
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  #54448  
Old 14th January 2021, 05:00 PM
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Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) ★★★½

In 1932, the year after Bela Lugosi found widespread fame in Dracula, Universal Pictures teamed up one of their biggest stars (Lugosi) with Sidney Fox, an actress Carl Laemmle Jr. had recently signed to a lucrative contract. Although Lugosi was a household name thanks to his iconic performance as Bram Stoker’s vampire account, he took second billing to Fox.

Set in 19th-century Paris, this is the first of several films in which Lugosi would play a mad doctor/mad scientist of some variety (notable others include The Raven, The Black Cat, The Corpse Vanishes, The Dark Eyes of London, Bride of the Monster, and Glen or Glenda).

The plot for Murders in the Rue Morgue revolves around Dr. Mirakle (Lugosi), a maniacal man of medicine who wants to further his research into the similarities between humans and apes – with the ultimate aim of creating a mate for Erik, his gorilla ‘assistant’ – by injecting primate blood into young women. Seemingly without any volunteers for this (ludicrous) plan, he decides to abduct test subjects, using a gorilla to snatch these young women on whom to experiment.

Meanwhile, Pierre Dupin, a medical student, discovers his fiancée, Camille L'Espanaye, who was mesmerised by Mirakle’s carnival show, an exhibition featuring Erik, is missing and begins to suspect Mirakle is responsible. As the police are little help, Dupin becomes an amateur sleuth to save Camille from Mirakle’s laboratory.

Compared to Dracula, The Raven, and The Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue is a second tier Lugosi film, one in which the characters aren’t as interesting as they could be, the plot (from short story by Edgar Allen Poe) seems occasionally silly and certainly not as dark as the two acclaimed films in which Lugosi appeared with Karloff.

The film is a visual treat thanks to Robert Florey’s direction and Karl Freud’s cinematography; it seems heavily influenced by Freud’s German expressionism, much more than Dracula, and the clever, though dated and somewhat clumsy, use of a real gorilla and Charles Gemora in an ape suit to create the illusion that Lugosi was working with a real ape. Although it isn’t the best of the three Poe-Lugosi films, it’s an enjoyable watch and one I’m glad I now own.
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  #54449  
Old 14th January 2021, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion (1970)

After a second viewing Eugenie has clambered it's way into my top 3 Jess Franco films. Made in collaboration with Harry Allan Towers,(Don't expect the typical tame, globe trotting affair of which many Towers films are famed for), Eugenie is something else indeed. Although it doesn't indulge itself in the usual Franco excesses of zooms into genitalia it is rather more risque than any other Towers produced film.

Based on the works of the Marquis de Sade, Eugenie is a sado sexual piece of erotica starring Marie Liljedahl as the young Eugenie, left at the island home of Madame Saint Ange (Maria Rohm) and her deranged stepbrother (as played in typically creepy style by the flat haired Jack Taylor), by her father, Franco regular Paul Muller.

Once there Eugenie is seduced by St Ange - The gorgeous Maria Rohm has never been more undressed or kinkier than she is here - and then by Taylor before engaging in a threesome as things really take a turn for the weird when Christopher Lee and a bunch of oddballs enter and watch as the threesome turns into S&M as Eugenie is whipped with a leather strap and what appears to be a mace. The film operates from then on in a semi dream like state with mesmerizing music from Bruno Nicolai and Franco toying with red light filters swirling round the viewers head like a hallucinogenic sexual experiment with Liljedahl and Rohm at the centre of it. Happy days!
I love that Christopher Lee insists he didn't know what was going on behind him during his scenes, I'm sure he did and I'm sure he was no stranger to the works of De Sade!
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  #54450  
Old 14th January 2021, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin101 View Post
I love that Christopher Lee insists he didn't know what was going on behind him during his scenes, I'm sure he did and I'm sure he was no stranger to the works of De Sade!
In the doc on the Medium Rare dvd (ported over from the BU release) Lee says they filmed stuff after he finished shooting those scenes which has happened before. Towers said Lee was all stuffy about it but got on with it anyway.
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