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Happy Death Day 2 U is superb as well, takes an unexpected direction, looking forward to the third one. Same director did Freaky, which was also lots of fun.

Hombre (Talking Pictures TV)

Fantastic western. One of Paul Newman's quieter and more considered performances. What an actor that guy was, honestly, there's never going to be anyone else even close to him as a star and actor.

Bounty Tracker (Prime)

Lorenzo Lamas vs Matthias Hues! Lots of decent action in this leading up to a good final fight. Thought it was going to be a buddy cop film though so I was bit disappointed overall.

Nomadland (pirate)

Yeeeeeeeeah..... not sure about this. Bit too slow and ponderous to really hammer home its messages. McDormand great as ever, will no doubt walk home with piles of awards. Not for me though, Clive.

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The Silent Partner (1978, Talking Pictures TV) I hadn't heard of this before, but saw Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer as the stars and I was sold. It's a thriller with a really nice set-up -

Yuen Biu's first lead role if memory serves, hence half the film basically being a showreel for him. Groundhog Day Andie McDowell plays Rita, a producer newly employed by a TV network that she

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4 minutes ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

The Secret of Kells. Been meaning to check out some of Cartoon Saloon's films for ages and this one's on iPlayer now. Gorgeous animation.

Cartoon Saloon are the best in the business right now. All their films are stunning.

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3 minutes ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Cartoon Saloon are the best in the business right now. All their films are stunning.

Must look out for the rest of their stuff. I know Wolfwalkers is either on Apple TV or is heading there soon so may go with that one next.

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2 hours ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

Must look out for the rest of their stuff. I know Wolfwalkers is either on Apple TV or is heading there soon so may go with that one next.

Yep it is on there now. I think Song of the Sea is still on Prime as well.

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I Rewatched Kong Skull Island, not seen it since the cinema, I still really liked it. 

Cool to see King Kong be the proper goodie of the film for once, I loved how he looked and carried himself, he gets loads of screen time and doesn't die falling off a building. 

I forgot how many big names are in it; Samuel L Jackson, John C Reilly (they were great) Brie Larson, John Goodman and Tom Hiddleston are all in it too (Shea Wigham and Toby Kebbel as well for movie buffs) everyone had a pretty developed character even if they didn't always have something to do and the Vietnam era setting added something as well.

 

 

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Watched Slither for the first time since its original release. (Netflix and a VPN) 

It's peak James Gunn, essentially a Troma film with a budget and a great cast. Some horrendously dated CGI aside, some of the effects hold up quite well and it's obviously a little love letter to The Thing and Society. Well worth a watch for anyone who wants a cheesy 80s horror homage. 

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I really had high hopes for Nathan Fillion off the back of Serenity and Slither. Probably more based on the fact he was in Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place but I at least thought he could have made a better fist at being the poor mans Harrison Ford.

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You know, it feels like a while from I've watched a bad movie, or one which I just really didn't enjoy. I've struck a nice little run here. 

The worst of what I've seen recently would probably be Righteous Kill (2008). A paint by numbers murder cop flick, with De Niro and Pacino essentially phoning it in. Even then, seeing them both together again in their pre-dotage was still a novelty so it was enjoyable enough. 

The other one I wasn't as fond of, which was more of a disappointment, was Twilight (1998). Here's me, a Newman fanboy, coming accross this one that I had never heard of before, and "Gene Hackman is in it too! How have I not watched this?" It's because it's nothing to write home about at all. It had the complete feel of a straight to TV movie, that just happened to have two of the best to ever do it paired together on screen. Along with Susan Sarandon too. I guess I was just hoping I had discovered a little known gem. It was fine, but I wasn't missing anything by having not seen it. 

The Cincinnati Kid (1965) Beautiful stuff. McQueen and Edward G Robinson were mesmerising. Both are immensely watchable, all the time. Robinson is one of those guys you could listen to if he was talking nonsense and he'd still feel intelligent, and McQueen is such a physical actor, so much of what he does with his eyes in this has you on the edge of your seat. Great film. 

Dark Waters (2019). Mark Ruffalo seems to have a penchant for this kind of thing, and if he can make more like this and like Spotlight, then I'm all for it. I thought it was brilliant. It's incredibly sad that it happened at all, being that it was based on real events, but the retelling of what happened, here in this movie, I couldn't fault. 

Oblivion (2013)

I'm not going to pretend that Sci-Fi Tom is my favourite Tom. As it's far from it, but this was better than I expected. We'd got ourselves a new TV for Christmas, so thought that we would choose to watch something that would be typically best seen in the cinema. This ticked that box, and I thought it was pretty good. As pretty much most of Cruise's movies are. 

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Dustin Hoffman from this era could do no wrong for me. Between The Graduate, Marathon Man, All The President's Men, Midnight Cowboy, jeez the list goes on. He was golden. This is bleak, depressing, heart wrenching and a touching tale of friendship all at the same time. Jon Voight is clearly great too, but Hoffman can do it all. 

The Killing Fields (1984)

While we're on the theme of depressing, it doesn't get much more depressing than this. Malkovich and Waterston are great here as the journalists trying to chart the civil war going on in Cambodia, but it's the performance of Haing S. Ngor that really steals it. He takes you on quite the journey of emotions, showing you what Dith Pran went through, and it's an incredible story of one man's will to survive, when the world doesn't seem to want him too. 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966).

The rest of these that I watched were all for the first time, though clearly this one was a rewatch when I felt like a western, and more specifically, when I wanted to watch Clint in a Western. I think it's the best of the Dollars trilogy. As good as Eastwood and Van Cleef are here, and how synonymous they are with this and this film is with them, you know what? Eli Wallach steals it. Everyone else is window dressing for him. A Tour De fucking Force. 

I also watched, and thoroughly enjoyed The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Fallen (1998), Money Movers (1978), The Ides of March (2011) and From Here to Eternity (1953), but I'm conscious that I've babbled on here for long enough and probably in too positive a form as is acceptable for one post. 

So for the sake of balance, I also watched A Prayer for the Dying (1987). Thought it was shite. Rourke's accent had me thinking the girl he was chatting up in the film probably would have preferred playing a deaf rather than a blind character. 

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I watched Mank recently.

I'm not sure I got it. It looked great as a period piece, and Gary Oldman was pretty good as he usually is, but I don't really get what it was trying to say. It's all about this surly screenwriter on the odds with Hollywood, and how he writes his masterpiece when everyone thinks he's washed up, but that it rubs people the wrong way and everyone thinks it will ruin him. He fights Orson Welles for the right to be credited as the screenwriter, and everything turns out well for him, and the message seems to be to create the art your heart tells you to create rather than just following the crowd.

Except it's not a very good attempt to tell that story - the real Mank was a conservative, so creating a story in which he's some kind of left-wing radical to justify the narrative you want just tells me that the narrative as imagined doesn't work. I'm not expecting a biopic to be fully historically accurate, but the central premise of the story is built on just completely making up a motivation for the main character. Ultimately, it was a movie about the making of Citizen Kane that reduced Orson Welles to a bit player, and seemed to argue that Orson Welles had little if anything to do with the creation of that movie, which is just silly, and a really bizarre stance to take. 

It felt like the Netflix algorithm has potentially seen that Curtiz did okay (I have no idea what the critical consensus of that movie is, or if anyone watched it, tbf), so wanted to make another movie about a classic movie being made as a moral message, with the focus not being on the most famous names involved. But Curtiz, for all its flaws, told that story a hell of a lot better, and more truthfully. 

I've seen Mank get a fair few rave reviews, which just makes me think that the easiest way to get a movie made and critically lauded is to make a movie about making a movie.

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Yeah, Mank is fine as a character piece if you ignore its weird take on history and anti-Welles streak, but David Fincher has still never made anything nearly as good as Se7en and never will.

@WeeAl Enjoyed that run-through! Agree with you on everything that I've seen from your list there. Fallen is a cult favourite on here (me and @Frankie Crisp especially are big fans) and Dark Waters was one of the best films of last year. If you haven't watched Official Secrets yet, I think it makes a really good British companion piece on the corruption / conspiracy film front.

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23 minutes ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Yeah, Mank is fine as a character piece if you ignore its weird take on history and anti-Welles streak, but David Fincher has still never made anything nearly as good as Se7en and never will.

@WeeAl Enjoyed that run-through! Agree with you on everything that I've seen from your list there. Fallen is a cult favourite on here (me and @Frankie Crisp especially are big fans) and Dark Waters was one of the best films of last year. If you haven't watched Official Secrets yet, I think it makes a really good British companion piece on the corruption / conspiracy film front.

Cheers for the recommendation on Official Secrets, I hadn't heard of that one before so it's got clipped onto the watchlist just now. 

Glad to hear there's love for Fallen about these parts, it feels like one of those Denzel movies that doesn't get much talk as compared to others of his, but that it should do. I'm also always down to watch big Donald do his thing, anytime he pops up. 

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6 hours ago, BomberPat said:

I'm not sure I got it. It looked great as a period piece, and Gary Oldman was pretty good as he usually is, but I don't really get what it was trying to say. It's all about this surly screenwriter on the odds with Hollywood, and how he writes his masterpiece when everyone thinks he's washed up, but that it rubs people the wrong way and everyone thinks it will ruin him. He fights Orson Welles for the right to be credited as the screenwriter, and everything turns out well for him, and the message seems to be to create the art your heart tells you to create rather than just following the crowd.

I can't say if this is what it was aiming for, but it's what I got out of it. Citizen Kane is all about what answering a question tells us about the character - what is 'Rosebud' and why was Kane thinking about it when he died? Mank is doing a similar thing. This time, though, the question is 'why would someone write their masterpiece as a fairly vicious takedown of someone (and their wife, who he's actually close to)?'.

It's not telling us anything particularly about Citizen Kane, or particularly Orson Welles. I saw it as a bit more of a love letter to it, and treating the writer much like Hearst was treated in Kane (and with the same loose approach to reality).

I don't think it's a masterpiece or anything, although I do generally like Fincher's work - for me, Zodiac is his best.

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The Silent Partner (1978, Talking Pictures TV)

I hadn't heard of this before, but saw Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer as the stars and I was sold. It's a thriller with a really nice set-up - a bank teller (Gould) realises that someone is casing the joint (Plummer), so hides $50,000 for himself, letting the robber get away with just a few thousand. When the robber hears on the news that he supposedly stole $50k, he goes after Gould for the rest.

It goes a lot more back and forward than I expected, and between this and The Long Goodbye, I can see why Gould was becoming a big star for a while there. He's great in this, but Plummer is terrifying - psychopathic, violent, yet mannered and quiet, and seeming to enjoy a lot of it. His disguises are wild too, including him trying to hold up a bank as Santa Claus. 

Apparently, the director (Daryl Duke) was briefly thrown off the film for not wanting to film a particular scene involving violence against women, and they got in another director to do that. He was absolutely right - it's an unpleasant scene, obviously, but it's also wildly at odds with the film.

Overall, it's a tight little thriller, and I'm surprised to have not heard of it before. Also features a very early role for John Candy, which is nice to see. Talking Pictures tend to show stuff a few times, so keep an eye out for it if you fancy it.

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