Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:19 pm

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (Neeraj Pandey, 2016) 4/10

From a humble background in Bihar a kid (Sushant Singh Rajput) rises to become the captain of the Indian cricket team. The dull by-the-numbers story of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's rags to riches tale from railway ticket collector to the heights of international sports fame. The only reason why this film exists is to appease the millions of cricket fans in India and beyond and it's boxoffice success brought the star a filmfare nomination for best actor for a rather dull performance. The character's life arc holds no drama other than his later success in the sport he is obsessed about. The screenplay plays it safe avoiding the controversies in his life and just plays to the gallery - most of the naive public who get what they want to see which is the game itself. Watch this if you love the sport otherwise avoid it like the plague. And at 3 hours it is an incredible chore to sit through.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:18 pm

Raees (Rahul Dholakia, 2017) 8/10

This harks back to the "angry-young-man" plots of the Amitabh Bachchan 1970s era although set during the 1980s in Gujrat, one of the few states in India where prohibition is enforced by law. The story of a child who works for a bootlegger (Atul Kulkarni) and who grows up to form his own bootlegging empire with help from a Bombay don. Raees (Shah Rukh Khan) wants money, success and respect and hates being treated unfairly. Has a mother who tells him that no business is beneath him, and no religion is greater than business, as long as they don’t harm anyone. It's Bollywood and "Mommy" advice is sacred even if assorted goons do get harmed along the way. It appears to be the norm in Bollywood now that when a star wants to reinvent himself and jump start a flagging career - go back to the original drawing board and ape Mr Bachchan Senior and you come out in a win-win situation (there is even a scene set in a drive-in theater playing a Bachchan film). The director brilliantly captures the tawdry Bollywood cinema of the 1980s - the superb production design perfectly "gets" that. The star not only receives a dramatic entrance - he is first seen flagellating himself during the Muslim Moharram religious festival his ripling muscular body covered in sweat and blood - but also gets a worthy opponent, the wily wisecracking inspector (superb Nawazuddin Siddiqui who upstages the star in all their scenes together) with whom there is a feverish cat-and-mouse game. The film manages to push all the right buttons - you have to be an avid Bollywood filmgoer to "get" it all - the characters, the milieu, the item number (former porno star Sunny Leone's attempt to go legit in a sexy dance number "Laila o Laila"), the wife (Pakistani star Mahira Khan who creates sparks holding her own opposite the "Mighty Khan" whether trading barbs or dancing with him in two musical sequences - all their scenes together have a gentle quality). This film is a "paisa vasool" crowd pleaser with the star giving a solid performance even if he still resorts to flashes of his old personas of "Raj" and "Rahul" which is probably intentional - the public wants that as they find comfort in old wine even if presented in a new bottle.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:18 pm

American Pastoral (Ewan McGregor, 2016) 5/10

Adaptation of Phillip Roth's Pulitzer prize winning novel spans 20 years and describes the collapse of the American dream and exposes cracks in the marriage of a supposedly perfect couple - a New Jersey jock (Ewan McGregor), son of a successful Jewish American glove manufacturer, married to a former beauty queen (Jennifer Connelly) and a devout Roman Catholic. The catalyst that causes a frission in their perfect life is their daughter (Dakota Fanning), beset by an emotionally debilitating stutter and outraged by the Vietnam war and racial unrest during the Johnson administration becomes grotesquely overweight and increasingly radical in her beliefs. After placing a bomb in the local post office which kills a man she disappears. Her parents are shattered - the mother has a nervous breakdown, an affair with their architect and a face lift while the father spends his whole life searching for his daughter and coming to the conclusion that everyone has a veneer of respectability but each engages in subversive behaviour. Forced to see the chaos in the collapsing "American pastoral" he realises that he cannot ignore the changes brought about by social unrest. The screenplay condenses the epic novel and spends far too much time on the lead character (who is basically a crashing bore) with only glimpses of the wife - Connelly who is superb as the distraught icy woman - and daughter who is such an unappealing character that one wonders why so much fuss is being made about her. McGregor (in his directorial debut) tries to bring shape to the material but is defeated and everything about the film comes off flat.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:03 am

dws1982 wrote:
Definitely interested in other recommendations.


I'll post something in the 'Missing in Action' thread under DVD discussions.
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:00 am

Live By Night (2016) Ben Affleck 3/10
Beast (2016) Sam & Tom McKeith 4/10
Sssssss (1973) Bernard L. Kowalski 4/10
Denial (2016) Mick Jackson 7/10
Addicted to Fresno (2015) Jamie Bobbit 5/10
Goat (2016) Andrew Neel 6/10
The Night Digger (1971) Alastair Reid 6/10
United States of Love (2016) Tomasz Wasilewski 8/10
Creepy (2016) Kioyshi Kurosawa 7/10
Wiener-Dog (2016) Todd Solondz 6/10
Gimme Danger (2016) Jim Jarmusch 7/10

Repeat viewings

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) Joseph L. Mankiewicz 7/10
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone 6/10
Phantasm (1979) Don Coscarelli 4/10
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby dws1982 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:05 am

Precious Doll wrote:There is an Region B locked Blu Ray from the U.K. which is outstanding and is far superior to the American DVD that New Line put out years ago. However, the Blu Ray lacks the special features that the DVD has, most notably directer & writer (Russell Banks) commentary.

I bought a region-free player recently, so I may look into that.

I mainly got it to get movies that aren't available in the States or at least are more expensive in the States. So far I got (all UK versions):
Wooden Crosses
Les Miserables
Great Expectations
Rocco and His Brothers
The Gospel According to Matthew
The Shop on Main Street
Closely Watched Trains
Two for the Road (just made available in the States, but in a more expensive version)
Three Brothers (coming out soon in the States, but more expensive)
The Pianist

Definitely interested in other recommendations.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:18 am

dws1982 wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:The Sweet Hereafter (1997) Atom Egoyan 10/10

Haven't seen this one in 15 years probably. My initial rating would probably be similar to yours, but over the years it's fallen a good bit in my estimation. I wonder if my distaste for everything (from what I've seen) that Egoyan made after it has changed my view of it.

If I can find a reasonably-priced Blu-Ray of this, I should give it another shot.


I haven't cared for most post Sweet Hereafter Egoyan films but was pleased to find this as powerful & bleak as it was when I first viewed it on first release. The only thing that wasn't as great as I remembered was Sarah Polley which I think has to do with her maturing as an actress since then.

There is an Region B locked Blu Ray from the U.K. which is outstanding and is far superior to the American DVD that New Line put out years ago. However, the Blu Ray lacks the special features that the DVD has, most notably directer & writer (Russell Banks) commentary.
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Okri » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:44 pm

I actually just rewatched it within the last month and it holds up remarkably well.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby dws1982 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:08 am

Precious Doll wrote:The Sweet Hereafter (1997) Atom Egoyan 10/10

Haven't seen this one in 15 years probably. My initial rating would probably be similar to yours, but over the years it's fallen a good bit in my estimation. I wonder if my distaste for everything (from what I've seen) that Egoyan made after it has changed my view of it.

If I can find a reasonably-priced Blu-Ray of this, I should give it another shot.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:11 am

Moana (2016) Ron Clements & John Musker 4/10
Split (2017) M. Night Shyamalan 2/10
The Liar (2014) Dong-myung Kim 7/10
Burying the Ex (2015) Joe Dante 5/10
Manchester by the Sea (2016) Kenneth Lonergan 8/10
White Nights (2012) Hee-il Leesong 4/10
Night Flight (2014) Hee-il Leesong 4/10

Repeat viewings

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) Alain Resnais 10/10
The Dekalog (1989) Krzysztof Kieslowski 10/10
Three Colours: Blue (1993) Krzysztof Kieslowski 9/10
Three Colours: White (1994) Krzysztof Kieslowski 6/10
Three Colours: Red (1994) Krzysztof Kieslowski 9/10
The Sweet Hereafter (1997) Atom Egoyan 10/10
A Good Marriage (1982) Eric Rohmer 9/10
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:21 am

Kahani 2 (Sujoy Ghosh, 2016) 7/10

A woman (Vidya Balan) goes into a coma after a hit and run and a policeman (Arjun Rampal) uses her diary to unravel a plot involving child abuse, kidnapping and murder. Ghosh expertly directs the first half of the film using flashbacks and inventive cutting which keeps up the suspense as the mystery unfolds. The second half devolves into grand guignol territory - a slimy paedophile (Jugal Hansraj - a far cry from the cute moppet of "Masoom") and his psychotic mother who is willing to kill her grand daughter to hide her son's crimes. This is not a sequel despite the "2" in the title. The only thing linking the two films are Vidya Balan, the city of Calcutta and a plot that is full of red herrings only this one has a few too many contrivances. The star manages to hold the film together with her superb performance while the director maintains the brooding milieu, the authentic locations and attention to detail. Worth a watch.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:21 am

The Salzburg Connection (Lee H. Katzin, 1972) 3/10

Deathly dull spy flick based on the Helen MacInnes novel. An American lawyer (Barry Newman) on vacation in Salzburg is suspected of being a spy by various people who in turn are after an iron chest discovered at the bottom of a lake and containing a list of Nazi collaborators from WWII. Between assorted murders he falls in love with the wife (Anna Karina) of the man who found the chest which is later hidden by her brother (Klaus Maria Brandeur in his film debut). Sloppy direction (freezeframes, slow motion shots), a dull car chase, badly photographed locations and a cast that seemed just as bored going through the motions as I was watching them. Skip this one.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:20 am

Lion (Garth Davis, 2016) 8/10

The film's most fascinating, surreal and eerie scene is set in the middle of the night with a child standing in the reflecting light in the middle of the deserted Howrah Bridge in Calcutta. The producers of the film got permission to block traffic to film the scene - the first time ever that the historic bridge had seen no vehicles since it's construction in 1943. Saroo (Sunny Pawar) the 5 year old child, son of a poor single mother who picks rocks for a living, gets separated from his brother in a train station in a small village in Northern India, falls asleep in an empty train which takes him a 1,000 km across India to Calcutta. Lost and disoriented the child survives assorted Dickensian travails - hunger, thirst, kidnappers and a child molester (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) when he is finally put into an orphanage from where a Tasmanian couple (David Wenham & Nicole Kidman) adopt him. He quickly adjusts in his new surroundings. 25 years later Saroo (Dev Patel) troubled by his past decides to find his roots by using Google Earth. Rousing and emotional true story has a first half that resembles countless similarly plotted Bollywood films with heavy doses of "Slumdog Millionaire". The director's constant use of overhead shots, which mimic google earth, capture the vast, barren landscapes of India which dwarf the small child who is in constant peril. The same camera effect in the later scenes set in Tasmania have a similar effect not only showing the spectacular scenic beauty of the country but emphasises the young adult's inner conflict which begins to suffocate him despite the happy life he has with loving parents and a sympathetic girlfriend (Rooney Mara). The film's use of sound, cinematography, production design and score all work seamlessly to create an extremely moving film. Both actors playing Saroo - the gifted child actor who barely talks through the first half but effortlessly carries the film on his fragile shoulders and Dev Patel as the adult whose memory gets triggered by the sight and smell of a jalebi is equally superb. The film's extremely moving ending is surpassed by actual images of the real characters during an epilogue which also discloses the surprise in the meaning of the film's title.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:20 am

Loving (Jeff Nichols, 2016) 7/10

Dramatically flat but interesting story from the historical perspective about the landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court (Loving v Virginia) which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriages. The case involved a white man Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) married to Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) who was coloured. The Loving's marriage violated the state of Virginia's anti-miscegenation law. Sentenced to a year in prison they were forced to move outside their home state. Later returning incognito the couple continue to be harrassed by racist cops and neighbors. After a couple of white lawyers come to their defence the case eventually goes upto the Supreme court and moves not only in their favour - it took ten years - but forever changed the laws allowing interracial marriages to take place without fear. Also helping their cause is a photo spread in Life magazine when a photographer (Michael Shannon) takes and publishes casually intimate portraits of the couple at their home. Edgerton is stolid and clamped up - he has a showy breakdown at one point though - while Negga (of Irish and Ethiopian descent), as his optimistic wife, plays the role with grace and dignity and recieved an Oscar nomination for her performance.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:19 am

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Blake Edwards, 1961) 8/10

Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a sophisticated New York socialite (and call girl), befriends the new tenant (George Peppard) in her apartment building who in turn is being kept by an older woman (Patricia Neal). Charming Audrey in that black Givenchy dress and hat, the opening breakfast scene at Tiffany's, a classic Henry Mancini score, "Moon River", the New York locations, "Cat", a hilariously daffy (and dated) party in a cramped apartment and the famous denouement in the rain are some of the highlights in this classic film from the 1960s. Of course there is also Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi.....but we shall ignore that he exists. Funny, sad and whitewashed adaptation of Truman Capote's novel has a miscast Audrey Hepburn - Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the part - but who still manages to make it one of her iconic roles.


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