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    Posted: 19 Apr 2024 at 3:10pm

The Gentlemen (2019)

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels III

Despite featuring three actors I hitherto believed as being amongst the most talentless in the anglosphere (Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell) 'the Gentlemen' somehow still delivers an entertaining and at times, visceral and refreshingly unwoke British crime comedy/drama. This is probably due, in no small measure, to the brilliantly nuanced and understated performances of Charlie Hunnam, Jeremy Strong and Eddie Marsan. The dialogue is sharp, often barbed but always discordantly faithful to the speaker's social class as if it had been transcribed by Martin Amis at his 'London Fields' peak. Unlike the late Mr Amis however, neither the film nor its director clearly take themselves too seriously. Redolent of Woody Allen's 'Broadway Danny Rose' in as much as the plot is revealed in retrospect by the whisky fueled anecdotes of an unreliable witness (Hugh Grant) the pace is unrelenting but never brusque. Now for the negatives. This is the 3rd time Ritchie has made the same movie so its frankly miraculous that the law of diminishing returns hasn't set in sooner. There's always room for a completely unconvincing 'Oirish' accent in a Guy Ritchie film and Colin Farrell doesn't disappoint here. Imagine Hurricane Higgins impersonating Brad Pitt from 'Snatch' impersonating Graham Norton and you're in the ballpark. For those Guardian reading African Trans poetry enthusiasts out there who think this movie 'racist' here's a spoiler alert: some of the characters in 'the Gentlemen' say horrid things to each other just like real people do in real life using language you will not approve of so go and lobby your MP to outlaw free speech.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2024 at 8:54pm

Lady Ballers (2023)

Some Movies are disaster movies, some are just disasters...

I was initially loathe to go in too hard on a movie that has so many cameos from unwitting conservatives I encounter on a daily basis but Michael J Knowles, Candace Owens, Ted Cruz, and Ben Shapiro just don't deserve to be associated with this catastrophic drivel. The creators must have wished in retrospect they had adopted the documentary style that succeeded so brilliantly for 'What is a Woman?' from 2022 for this Daily Wire project. Casting the glacially mordant Matt Walsh as a new age hippie guru is about as wise as having your CEO and founder Jeremy Boreing, write, star and Direct the whole fiasco as a hapless cuckold behind on his mortgage repayments. The basic premise for a comedy is ripe i.e. Should transgender women (read: biological men) be allowed to compete against biological women at sports? Unfortunately this never delivers on it's promise and the reasons are not hard to deduce. To satirise or lampoon a subject effectively, considerable comedic exaggeration is normally required to make the target look suitably ridiculous. In this instance however, very little suspension of belief is required from a transgender lobby that is invariably humorless, intolerant and resistant to any form of reciprocal dialogue with its opponents. To be fair, the Daily WIre's Matt Walsh has acknowledged this in a recent interview. Let's cut to the chase: Apart from Coach Gibson's daughter Winnie regurgitating (for the benefit of the bogus 'female' basketball team) the gender ideology she is assailed with by her school teachers there is not a single funny joke in the way too overlong 1 hour and 52 stamina sapping minutes. Avoid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 12:01am

Glass Onion (2022)

Inspector Leghorn and the Case of the Missing Laughs


It starts rather unpromisingly as if we are heading into a US Cluedo franchise somehow deserving of a voice-over by Foghorn Leghorn and starring the cast of Friends to make things more palatable for Hollywood audiences. Daniel Craig is likable enough as southern fried Inspector Benoit Blanc but why not dispense with his Norleans affectations and just be Detective Ben White? I mean, lordy lordy, comedy just may not be his thang' y'all? The talents of Kate Hudson and Kathryn Hahn are completely wasted on merely repeating 'Oh My God' over and over again throughout as if this might at some point provide a comedic denouement. Yep, the laughs are very few and far between hereabouts with Edward Norton (Fight Club) about as convincing as a scamming idiot savant billionaire as Ted Bundy was a feminist. That said, Director and writer Rian Johnson reverses out of this casting cul de sac with a very ingenious and entertaining sequence of flashbacks and POV shift revelations that add depth and nuance to what is, at heart, an Agatha Christie whodunnit? With contemporary influencers and technology gurus as the butt end of many of the gags. I haven't seen the earlier film from 2019 so can't say if this might be the law of diminishing returns setting in or not. The palpable chemistry between Craig and Janelle Monae is judiciously exploited to mask many of the film's worst faults of which the music is exempt (if you like the Beatles) Serena Williams has one of the funniest scenes playing herself from a fitness video. That's correct I am starting to run out of positives...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:57pm

Going Off Big Time (2000)

Liver Spots

Many 'British' gangster movies come across as cripplingly self conscious and 'GOBT' is no exception. Why this perceived inadequacy should be the case is unclear, given a likeable cast, strong story line, convincing but never gratuitous violence and a decent script. I didn't think Neil Fitzmaurice would provide sufficient gravitas to his role as 'Mark' but he is convincing throughout as a man who becomes a gangster by accident rather than the rest of his dim-witted crew who epitomize opportunistic wannabes. That said, the message that ex cons cannot get jobs when released so are forced to revert back to crime is facile and just seems another lazy shuffle of the victim's own marked card. There are some very adept twists which keep the action moving forward but given the Scouse talent for coruscating sarcasm and that Fitzmaurice is a distinguished comic writer, some of the humour is rather lame and a big disappointment. Bernard Hill is excellent as wily jailbird Murray but Dominic Carter less so as the cretinous Ozzie, a Looney Tunes version of practically anyone below 'Thug #4 in bar', from 'Rise of the Footsoldier' or 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels'. His burgeoning death-wish as evidenced by his mob slaying towards the end just doesn't convince on any appreciable level whatsoever. Bonus points for the film are earned by somehow casting Peter Kay as the Flipper character and you don't want to punch him into paralysis during his few seconds on screen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:54pm


When Nietzsche Wept (2007)

Fritz forgets his whip

Occasionally ridiculous in the dream/hypnotherapy sequences and borderline slapstick bio-pic in others, 'When Nietzsche Wept' somehow remained compelling enough to have me sit right through to the end despite an unconvincing father of psychoanalysis (Jamie Elman as Freud) still having to show ID for the age of consent  and Katheryn Winnick as cigar chomping proto ladette femme fatale Lou Salome.

There is very little exploration of Nietzsche's philosophical ideas here but instead his incredibly prescient innovation in the realm of psychology as seen through the prism of the incipient discipline of psychoanalysis in Vienna circa 1882. Ben Cross is brilliant as the likeable albeit conveniently repressed and commensurately flawed Dr Breuer, adrift in a loveless marriage, a materially successful career but bereft of passion, danger or excitement in his unfailingly dutiful life. Things start to resemble the relationship between poets Verlaine and Rimbaud at this point (see Agnieszka Holland's 'Total Eclipse' from 1995) with Nietzsche advising Breuer to throw off the shackles of his unthinking conformity and embrace his freedom. Nietzsche certainly never did this, having died a virgin (despite being portrayed in a whorehouse) and was an invalid for most of his adult life on a pension paid for by academia. Whether Breuer actually makes this existential plunge is open to debate as the Director would have us believe this whole extended sequence was under Freudian hypnosis. Armand Assante was assigned one of the most thankless casting gigs of all time by being asked to portray the most innovative and radical thinker humankind has produced in over a thousand years. My gut feeling, on a personal level is that when Friedrich Nietzsche entered a room, that room got larger i.e. Assante exudes a cynical but palpable personality consistent with what he sees as his remit but I suspect Nietzsche was silent, inscrutable and withdrawn which is clearly anathema to cinematic portrayals. The movie is based on Irvin D. Yalom's 1992 novel which I haven't read but is purportedly concerned with the idea of limerence which as an idea is about as robust as 'gender' in 2023.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:51pm

The Equalizer 3 (2023)

The Law of Diminishing Returns (but maybe not at the box office?)


Easily the weakest of what is yet but a trilogy although there are murmurs of a planned prequel which explores Robert McCall's past in the US Marines and DIA. That might be interesting but I fear they'll soon need a stunt double for the action scenes as even uber cool Denzel Washington cannot be entirely immune to the ravages of time. Scriptwriter Richard Wenk appears to have abandoned the episodic structure of the 1st two incarnations and instead gone for one long arcing narrative throughout. This may have been designed to allow more nuance and depth to the characters but to be honest, there is very little here apart from Antoine Fuqua's by now very finely homed craft of visceral pay back for bad people to be enjoyed by we ferociously good people. The setting in Italy is quaintly idyllic but the locals are strictly demarcated into those who would tend your garden while you are on vacation and those who would bury you in those same gardens if you don't pay your protection money to the local Camorra mobsters. You can probably guess where this is going. Yes, it's still good fun and certainly entertaining but you feel there's an attempt to draw a line under any anticipated sequel by implying RM just might hang up his gun, knuckleduster and icy stare to retire in this secluded little village on the Amalfi Coast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rexorcist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2024 at 1:49pm
I ended up going to the theaters yesterday because my ride told me he'd be quite late picking me up.  We both agreed it would be more convenient for the both of us if I went and saw a movie, so I ended up seeing The Beekeeper.  It's a John Wick knockoff, but it's a fun John Wick knockoff at the very least.  It just didn't live up to its fullest potential.

And two of my regular customers ended up going there ten minutes after I got there, and neither of us knew we were gonna see it.  They even picked the seats next to me at random!  Free-kee.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jan 2024 at 3:14am
I was lucky enough to spend two hours of the last day of the year 2023 watching the movie in small cinema close to downtown. The theater (possibly oldest still operating cinema in town) didn't change a lot from my young days - tiny café, around six small tables, offering coffee and tea from old coffee  machine, plus few sweets and biscuits in a menu. Just one big room for films, probably 150 seats. True, the picture and sound are both on today's level. 

The movie was newest Wim Wenders work -"Perfect Days". Unorthodox European master's story, filmed in Japan, about simple life of Tokyo toilet cleaner. Slow, meditative, minimalist - very Japanese movie. The guy drives old Daihatsu (and bicycle), do his job very responsibly, listen old rock from 60s on car's cassette player and reeds books after working day. He use old film-camera making big three's in one of Tokyo's park pictures for years, collecting the history of three's growth. The three is his best friend. The guy is living very simple life, and he is happy - in his own way. He uses same public laundry and, has dinner at the same place and visit same small bar. Asked by two regular drinkers, the bartender sings beautiful Japanese version of "The House Of The Rising Sun". And she says with sadness - "Why everything must change?"

There are more events and more actions in the second movie's half, but the main atmosphere is still same. It's a movie about life, which doesn't exist anymore, about changes and about simple human being life. In a style of a great movies from 60s or 70s, modern work which stay with you for a long time ahead. Lot of good songs too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2023 at 11:41am
waited for the first possibility for watching the "Babylon" - and I wasn't disappointed. After  Chazelle's "LA-LA Land" I was wonder what his next step is. "Babylon" is first of all BIG movie, and not only because it lasts longer than 3 hrs. It shows the early Hollywood rise and down, with quite radical pros and cons, perfect main artists and (as usual for Chazelle's movies) great music (and sound). Just don't expect authentic scenes or jazz - it's more philosophic take on epocha,  than documentary







Edited by snobb - 21 Jan 2023 at 11:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2022 at 3:28am
Swedish "Triangle of Sadness" is one of the best movies I watched this year so far. Social satyre on Post-industrial society, tasteful and groteske at the same time. American drunker yacht captain - socialist and Russian post-Soviet capitalist dialogues are really funny, more important - them arenot really much different between each other though. Modern values as equality, people rights, tolerance, women rights all are beautiful on the surface and disappears in a minute when serious problems are coming. Not a new concept at all, the modern touch is in details - Russian tycoon calls the black guy "pirate" just because he's black, black guy attacks him as "racist" even more aggressively. Philippine crew staff female member is silent and behaves as a slave when at work, but taking the situation under her control, she becomes a shameless dictator. Two-and-half hours long, the movie doesn't look as such long, has lot of layers and works as fresh air wave, leaving lot of things to think about in one's head





Edited by snobb - 23 Oct 2022 at 10:33am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2021 at 1:45pm
I try to watch every new Japanese movie when possible, unfortunately, there are not many around. "Drive My Car" is based on Haruki Murakami book  and is a typical "slow life" Far East tradition movie lasting 3 hours. Nice music, interesting views and as always knotted Marukami story, when one intrigue open the other with no end.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2021 at 7:25am
^ Ha ha, that does sound good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote birdtranescoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2021 at 10:12pm
I just went through a list of 670 IFC film titles and couldn't find it.  So I'll tell you what happens - the boy brings home the big screen tv on the yak and they all spend all their time transfixed by "professional wrestling." l I used to watch Peter Greenaway films often.. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2021 at 5:11pm
^ I'm not familiar with that one, but it does sound interesting.

Edited by js - 11 Dec 2021 at 1:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote birdtranescoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2021 at 4:45pm
I've fairly given up movies.  I'm very impressionable and do things like take up accordion playing and forro after seeing Bye Bye Brazil.  I enjoy independent film/makers.  I'll have to read through the thread here to see the recommendations - 

Has anyone seen/recall the one where the family in Mongolia or wherever saves enough money for the young boy to go on journey to city to buy a television? 


Edited by birdtranescoe - 23 Oct 2021 at 5:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2021 at 1:17pm
in contrast to Bond, next day watched new Pedro Almodovar movie "Madres Paralelas", a story about two women who give birth a same day. Almodovar regulars Penelope Cruz and Rossy De Palma can't save the movie from being too long and a bit boring. Missed usual Almodovar unorthodox humor and a bit disappointed with obvious commercial influence (lesbian love without relation to main movie's line, all Spanish drive Suzuki (!), etc).  Even new Bond is better Embarrassed


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2021 at 1:03pm
With each new James Bond movie you know what expect - "No Time To Die" you get exactly what you expect. Watched on big screen, than lot of great cars, few interesting women and  - the scene in Norway where Bond in Toyota Landcruiser escaping from flock of new Range Rovers is really impressive Smile

 


Edited by snobb - 09 Oct 2021 at 1:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2021 at 1:25pm
after summer break, my beloved art movies cinema with small hall and 70s-style cafe started new season with Italian movie "Gli Anni Piu Belli"(Our best years) - the romantic and very Italian story about three friends and a beautiful girl, which in time will become a girlfriend of two of them. The story begins in early 90s, when the boys are still teenagers, and finishes when they are in their 50s. Lot of Italian scenery, Rome & Naples, and Italian music, mostly easy recognizable ital-pop from late 80s. Not a masterpiece for sure, but nice 2 hours of very moody Italian pictures, emotions and sounds. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 3:35pm
not really a fan of Disney movies, their newest "Cruella" attracted me by ....it's atmosphere. Based on same "101 Dalmatians" story (I never liked previous version with Glenn Close),  "Cruella" is the movie far not for teenagers. Extremely stylish, with 70s-80s hyperbolized poetic London's fashion and music, perfect Emma Stone and Emma Thompson and LOT of music from that time. To be precise, it doesn't represent exact decade, but extracts some most attractive ingredients from 60s,70s and 80s, and mixes them in one eclectic but catchy mix. Excellent sound too.

One can hear Blondie "One Way Or Another", Ohio Players "Fire", Stones "Sympathy For The Devil", The Doors "Five To One" among many others...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2021 at 1:12pm
hungry for big screen movies after more than half-year gap because of lock-down restrictions, my this week-end movie was Danish-Swedish-Dutch "Druk", one of this movies dedicated to "normal" people becoming alcoholics. 

Quite typical North European movie with slow dynamics, some near-boring dialogs and longer-than-it-should-be in a first half, then it develops to quite involving one. In a rich and socially responsible North European society, probably most socially responsible and supportive in the world, people for decades don't care much about having a job or paying bills for heating. These kind of problems are generally solved long ago, but the growing problem is people lost the interest to live and just exist in quite comfortable and boring life. 

Four school teachers/friends in their mid forties are bored by routine, their own small everyday problems and generally - in living their lives. Alcohol looks like a right stimulator, which helps in short perspective , but destroys their lives finally at the end of the day.  

It is a movie with lot of drinking, some vomiting and super-hit level main musical theme


 


Edited by snobb - 16 May 2021 at 1:13pm
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