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  #56721  
Old 3rd October 2021, 04:48 PM
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Really enjoyed this it was maybe a little too long and Rami Malek was underwhelming and a little dull, but we had a enjoyable ride with lots of nods too other Bond movies , pictures of Judie Denche and Bernard Lee's M, timothy dalton aston martin as well as the classic Connery Aston Martin and we have all the time in the world song. We are giving a more human and caring Bond than the days of Connery which women were no better than disposables shields. No going to give any details of the plot but can See why the ending has people divided. The so called "Bond Song " was awful properly one of the worst.

Saw this at nine this morning at it was absolutely packed so God knows what latter showings will be like.
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  #56722  
Old 3rd October 2021, 10:32 PM
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Dirty Harry (1971)

Inspector Harry Callahan proved an iconic role for star Clint Eastwood and Dirty Harry the film that spawned a thousand Italian rip offs as Callahan tracks down a killer inspired by the recent Zodiac Killer case.

Controversial upon release due to issues ranging from police brutality and victims rights... at least those have been sorted out in the present day.
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  #56723  
Old 5th October 2021, 06:48 AM
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No Time to Die


Growing up, during holidays, I'd always be visited by an uncle. Sometimes it'd be Uncle Terry, or Uncle Paddy, or Uncle Willie, or Uncle John. But there was another uncle who would always appear - Uncle James Bond.

Yes, Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, and bank holidays, Bond was a fixture of my childhood. Even if the film wasn't particularly good, Bond himself would delight (Connery's shrug, Lazenby's grin, Moore's raised eyebrow, Dalton's double-takes, Brosnan's smirk, and Craig's bewilderment).

In terms of cinematic characters, Bond has probably had more influence on me over others. I remember letting my hair grow longer in an attempt to mimic Bronsnan's hair from GoldenEye, and switching to a short cut and wax when Craig took over. If I saw Bond eat something, I'd want it. I wanted his watch, his suits, and his cars. Christ, the cool way Dalton smoked Lark cigarettes was probably influential as to why I used to smoke.

So you'll understand my feelings towards NTtD. Like the rest of the Craig era, it sits in the shadow of its predecessors. One cannot go into NTtD new, and expect the same reaction as one who has watched the other Craig films.

But like the other Craig films, it is technical tour-de-force. Like Cary Joji Fukunaga's other works, it is a visual triumph. While the cinematography may not meet the innovation of Roger Deakins's work on Skyfall, NTtD reminds you why seeing films at the cinema is special. The set design, colours, and lighting feel like the best of the 80s. Fukunaga has never been shy about using tracking shots, and they are used with aplomb her, But unlike Sam Mendes's showiness in Spectre, Fukunaga and Linus Sandgren's camerawork feels natural, and doesn't demand you take notice of it.

However, as good as the camerawork and staging are, it doesn't distract from the lack of blood. Bond films are not especially violent films (excusing Licence to Kill, GoldenEye, and Casino Royale), and they usually got away with it by keeping the body count low in comparison to other action heroes. Here, John Wick is obviously looming over it. Bond mows down more henchmen than any other (to the point you almost feel sorry for them). Sadly, the lack of blood leaves it all with no impact. Bond may have just killed four goons in three seconds, but it doesn't matter because he's about to kill seven more, and another five after them.

Thankfully, Craig is wonderful. He brings genuine emotional weight to Bond during the action, and also applies a comic charm to prevent things from getting too grim. He's ably supported by the superb supporting cast (Fiennes, Harris, De Armas, Seydoux, Wright, Whishaw, Kinnear) who bring their A-game.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Waltz and Malek. They do what they can, but the screenplay doesn't help them. Blofeld is reduced to a smirking Hannibal Lector, while Malek's Safin isn't given enough time to develop. Safin is more odd than threatening. Despite a strong introduction, Safin rarely shows up until the end, and he just muses philosophically about revenge and justice. He's capable of being an interesting character as world domination and wealth doesn't interest him, but the film never gives us any idea what does.

Safin and Blofeld's lack of development are tied to the biggest hurdle of NTtD - the screenplay. Continuity has been a big problem with the Craig era, and it contributes to NTtD's gargantuan running time. Unlike the one-and-done of other Bond films, NTtD devotes a lot of its time to recapping, reintroducing, and reestablishing elements of the previous film. As much as I love hanging out with Bond and company as they chew the fat and crack jokes, you have to wonder if 40 minutes could have been shaved by not bothering with Blofeld and Spectre. It is this plotting that brings us to the major elephants in NTtD (massive, major spoilers ahead).

SPOILER:
Set five years after the events of Spectre, Bond discovers he has a daughter. We often make jokes about the womanising Bond forced to become a parent responsibilities, and here it is. To the film's credit, it's rather sweet. Bond is out of his element for once, and doesn't even have a wisecrack to mutter. Rather than turn Bond into something he isn't, it forces him to adapt to a new position.

This new position drives the immediacy of the climax. Bond isn't saving the world - he's saving his world. A world for his family. His legacy. This is what the Craig era had been building to. NTtD's ending wouldn't have the same impact as a one-and-done. It had to build. It had to establish relationships, goals, ideals for its characters.

Of course, this brings up further complications. Bond was always about escapism. We could always count on Bond to save the world and return with a joke or two. Not any more. The end credits tell us that James Bond will return, but does that cheapen the ending? Rather than chew our nails over how Bond will escape his next laser attack, will we expect him to die? Will we feel invested in him anymore?

Whatever the future brings for Bond, I know this. As All the Time in the World played over the credits, I felt the hot tears sting my face. For my 34 years on this planet, Bond has always been there. And seeing him leave us was an overwhelming experience.


NTtD is flawed. It will probably become the most controversial film in the series, and perhaps the most divisive among fans. Even I have my qualms about it, but I cannot deny its poignancy. It's a big, beautiful blockbuster that is loud, dumb, silly, but sincere.

Salud, Mr. Bond.
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  #56724  
Old 5th October 2021, 02:50 PM
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In the Shadow of the Moon (2007) ★★★★

This British documentary uses archive footage and contemporary interviews with Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, James Lovell, Alan Bean, and six other astronauts as they tell the story of the Apollo missions, the NASA space program and the USA's quest to put a man on the moon and bring them back to Earth safely.

It's an achievement to make a film this century (this was released in 2007) with eight of the twelve men who have walked on the moon – Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, John Young, Charles Duke, Eugene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt – is an achievement in itself.

The remastered NASA footage has been carefully edited to fit a narrative and works very well with the interviews – the men are articulate and willing to talk about the lows and highs of their time at NASA. It's a shame Neil Armstrong didn't participate because, although his contributions are recognised by other astronauts, he is notable for his absence.

Even without Neil Armstrong, the documentary is an engrossing and informative watch and is particularly precious now that four of the participants have sadly died since the film was made.

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  #56725  
Old 5th October 2021, 02:54 PM
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Artemis Fowl (2020) ★

What the hell did I watch? If you’d asked me about the film 10 minutes after it finished, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about the characters, places, or events so now, a few days afterwards, all I can remember is Josh Gad seemed to be doing an impression of Jack Black, Judi Dench played a green goblin, and Kenneth Branagh – the man who made Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Thor, Murder on the Orient Express, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – was responsible.

It’s a confused, chaotic, and incoherent mess, a fantasy film without any sense of the fantastic and, even though it is just over 90 minutes long, it feels very long and overstayed its welcome well before the end credits roll. I was completely unaware of the books on which this is based but they must be better than the film – they can hardly be worse.

I only watched this because it was available on the Now TV package to which I currently have access and fitted in a gap I had before a meeting; I’m glad I didn’t pay to watch it at the cinema or on Disney+ and wish I’d used the time reading or watching The Simpsons instead.

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  #56726  
Old 5th October 2021, 02:56 PM
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The Boat That Rocked (2009) ★★★½

Funny, endearing, but overlong and not as snappy as it could be, this feelgood film about a culture war in Britain and the pirate radio DJs who provided a service their counterparts on the mainland couldn't is a bit baggy but very watchable.

It's clear Richard Curtis is a better writer than a director, though he compiled a fantastic jukebox soundtrack and terrific ensemble cast for this film.

Logan Lucky (2017) ★★★★

Steven Soderbergh came out of retirement to make this excellent heist movie and, for that, I am very grateful.

The film is a perfect mix of humour and tension, so it's not too dissimilar to The Italian Job in that respect, and benefits from a great script, fantastic performances from Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, and practically unrecognisable supporting appearances from Katie Holmes and Seth McFarlane.

This was my first viewing and I thoroughly enjoyed the film – I'll put the Blu-ray back on my 'to watch' pile so I definitely watch it again in the next couple of months.
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  #56727  
Old 5th October 2021, 02:57 PM
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Zack Snyder's Justice League 2021 ★★★½

Improving on the theatrically-released Justice League might not be the film version of polishing a turd, but it's not too far off that.

In this sprawling re-cut, Zach Snyder has certainly created something epic and 'filmic' – the spectacle element means it's something I wish I'd seen at the cinema – but it's also incredibly and unnecessarily long.

The performances and the time the actors have on-screen means the characters are much better developed and there is ample opportunity to think about what is happening while events are unfolding. Ben Affleck is a very good Batman, Gal Gadot again impresses as Wonder Woman, I really enjoy Ezra Miller's The Flash, Henry Cavill is a good Superman and can't imagine anyone other than Jason Momoa playing Aquaman. Individually, they are very good, together they are even better.

Unfortunately, there are too many moments which feel self-indulgent, particularly Snyder's overuse of slow motion, but there is doubt he is a skilled visual storyteller with a great ear for music. I would really like to watch the film in 4K Ultra HD with the 3D object-based soundtrack, but I'm not going to pay full whack for it.
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  #56728  
Old 5th October 2021, 04:35 PM
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Promising Young Woman 2020 ★★★★½

Having dropped out of Forrest Medical School, 30-year-old Cassie Thomas (Carey Mulligan) lives with her parents (Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge) and works at a coffee shop. Carrying the trauma and anger of a night at med school when her classmate raped her best friend but did not face any repercussions from the school nor the legal system, Cassie spends her nights trawling bars and clubs in a state of mock drunkenness to see if any men take advantage of her vulnerability, embarrassing and shaming them if they do.

In the wake of Chanel Miller’s victim impact statement in the prosecution of Brock Turner, a testimony of digital rape and sexual assault which went viral, and the #METOO movement, this feels timely and relevant, perfectly capturing the zeitgeist about sexual politics and ‘date rape’ cases.

Unlike other rape-revenge films, this doesn’t involve the victim, nor the victim’s family, and Cassie is unusual as she doesn’t seem to derive any satisfaction from the revenge meted out to aspiring assailants.

Promising Young Woman is a compelling, audacious, and riveting revenge thriller, superbly written and directed by Emerald Fennell, and with a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan. Considering this is Fennell’s film debut, the quality of the writing and direction is even more notable.

I can't remember the last time I have been so engrossed in a film at home, where every distraction (phone, computer, food) failed to take my attention from the on-screen events. It's a terrific film – highly recommended.

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  #56729  
Old 5th October 2021, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosferatu@Cult Labs View Post
Promising Young Woman 2020 ★★★★½
Pleased you've reviewed this, Nos. I wondered about it for a while. Saw it today on dvd for £7 and nearly bought it.
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  #56730  
Old 5th October 2021, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
Pleased you've reviewed this, Nos. I wondered about it for a while. Saw it today on dvd for £7 and nearly bought it.
It's definitely worth buying – I thought it was excellent.
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