Non-Fortean Films

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Woman At War: Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is angry. Angry at Rio Tinto whose smelter is damaging the pristine environment of Iceland. So she takes direct action, sabotaging electricity pylons, cutting off power to the smelter. There is more than just the smelter involved though. Halla's actions are putting at stake a resources exploitation deal between China and Iceland. Halla's gets inside information from a senior civil servant, Baldvin (Jörundur Ragnarsson), Baldvin is now worried that Halla will be caught, a satellite will be used to track her, and tries to persuade her to just issue a manifesto. Halaa gas another reason to reconsider her actions: she has been approved to adopt a girl.

This is a political thriller, a comedy with surreal overtones, an eco-action film. But foremost it is about the indomitable spirit of one woman who will have to make hard choices. When Halla is pursued by helicopters and drones she hides in crevices, uses the carcass of a dead sheep to fool heat-seeking radar. Discovers a long lost cousin, farmer Sveinbjörn (Jóhann Sigurðarson), who helps her escape. A three piece band and choir trio appear incongruously in scenes. Eventually the surreal turns existential, Halla goes to a rooftop to scatter copies of her manifesto, the band enter the action and tweet images of her proclamation,

Director & co-writer Benedikt Erlingsson delivers a delightful, funny but hard-hitting drama. 8/10.
 

cycleboy2

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The Hustle - I haven't seen it but it has the worst reviews of any film that I can ever remember. The Guardian gave it a one star review, while yesterday's Times awarded it zero stars, something I've never seen in a mainstream review. I'm half tempted to go and see it to see if it's really that bad but I'm not a big fan of the film it's based on, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which never really appealed to me.

This is the really coruscating review from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/may/09/the-hustle-review-anne-hathaway-rebel-wilson
 

GNC

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Is The Hustle worse than Holmes & Watson, though? I suppose even talented people mess up - yes, I think Rebel is talented, she made me laugh in those Pitch Perfect films, and her anti-romcom romcom was pretty funny too.
 
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Is The Hustle worse than Holmes & Watson, though? I suppose even talented people mess up - yes, I think Rebel is talented, she made me laugh in those Pitch Perfect films, and her anti-romcom romcom was pretty funny too.
Currently at 16% on RT from 99 reviews, it will go down - that's the general tendency, H&W is at 11% from 74. That's actually gone up, initially it sat at 0% for a while. Obviously an inexact and not "objective" measure - but then there isn't really one.
 
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Has there ever been a remake that improves on the original?!!...
True Grit.

I think the Coen brothers version is very much superior to the John Wayne movie - it's also much closer to the plot of the novel (which is an often overlooked wonder) and in tone to the wonderfully blunt and straightfaced drollery of Charles Portis' writing.
 

cycleboy2

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Is The Hustle worse than Holmes & Watson, though? I suppose even talented people mess up - yes, I think Rebel is talented, she made me laugh in those Pitch Perfect films, and her anti-romcom romcom was pretty funny too.
Didnt see Holmes & Watson but the trailer was horrifically bad, ill-judged humour and not a laugh in sight. If that was meant to encourage one to see the film, it failed miserably...
 

Keith peace

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True Grit.

I think the Coen brothers version is very much superior to the John Wayne movie - it's also much closer to the plot of the novel (which is an often overlooked wonder) and in tone to the wonderfully blunt and straightfaced drollery of Charles Portis' writing.
@Spookdaddy seen the original but not viewed the remake,must get my viewing spectacles on and give it a try!!
 
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Vox Lux: A drama about a school shooting and how a girl, Celeste, became a pop star afterwards. A film of two parts with Celeste being played by Raffey Cassidy as a teen in 1999 and Natalie Porter as an adult in 2017; Raffey plays Celeste's daughter Albertine in 2017. Willem Dafoe is the narrator and telescopes years and events as Celeste survives a school shooting, sings a memorial song composed by her older sister Ellie (Stacie Martin) and then goes on to achieve stardom. Jude Law plays The Manager who launches Celeste on the road to success. The first half of Vox Lux is bookended by the school shooting and 9/11. In 2017 Celeste is still a star (if fading) and is planning a major event in her home area Staten Island to launch her new album Vox Lux. Once again Dafoe telescopes events, updating us on Celeste's drug and legal problems. Ellie is still there in the background, now a chaperone/nanny for Albertine. Celeste's drug taking and alcohol abuse threaten the viability of Staten Island event.

Jude Law is superb as the sleazy manager who ends up seducing the ever hapless Ellie, her talents unrecognised. Raffey Cassidy is exploited as she herself exploits others and so the merry go round continues in 2017. Some really disturbing/emotional scenes during the school shooting at the film's opening where the young actors are at their best especially when they think things will be alright only to face slaughter. Porter is a short-fused squirrely Celeste, paranoid, in need of constant reassurance and indulgence. She seems torn between using Albertine as a prop to sustain her career and genuine maternal affection. But it is Ellie who is the real mother and still a songwriter for Celeste. Engaging Musical/Drama directed and written By Brady Corbet. 8/10.
 
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Beats: Shot in subdued yet sharp monochrome (breaking into grainy during raves) this film tells the tale of Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) living in a sink estate in in small town West Lothian. It's 1994 and Raves are about to be outlawed but that doesn't stop the polis from preemptively and violently breaking up the raves anyway. Spanner lodges with his psychotic and violent drug dealing older brother Fido, Johnno is at home with his mother but her new partner is a police constable and the family are due to move to a new home. Over one weekend Johnno and Spanner plan to attend one last rave together but they cross Fido's gang and are pursued to the Rave site.

The only colour in Beats comes during the Rave dance shots and are reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey trippy scenes. Partly a coming of age drama, the boys link up with girls a couple of years older, led by Cat (Amy Manson); and also about restrictions, rave music and a commentary on the empty lives of so many young people. The underage drug use no doubt got Beats it's 18 certificate but it doesn't just glorify this abuse, the consequences are shown in a potential car crash.

But the rave scene is also a revolt against cuts and restrictions as Tony Blair blathers on the tv in the background it is easy to see why youth would choose music rather than see him as an alternative. The leader of the scene is crazed but cuddly pirate station DJ D-Man (Ron mann) looking like a young John Peel as he gives clues to the Rave location. Violent at times but always interesting even if the accents are occasionally difficult to decipher. Director Brian Welsh delivers a credible version of Kieran Hurley's stage play with the screenplay written by Welsh and Hurley. 8/10.
 
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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run, accompanied only by a faithful dog as he wends his way through the mean streets of New York. He is about to be declared Excommunicado for killing a member of the High Table, the gangster elite who rule over crime and assassins. Worried more about his dog, he sends it in a taxi to a refuge. John's old friends Winston (Ian McShane) and King of the Bowery (Laurence Fishburne) are also in trouble for assisting him, visited by an Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) they are given notice to quit. Wick's old trainer The Director (Anjelica Huston) is handed a more severe immediate sanction. A new cat-loving assassin, Zero (Mark Dacascos) is sent after Wick. John's old friend Sofia (Halle Berry) aids him and you don't mess with her dogs.

Violence, killings, stranglings, shootings, stabbings, dogs going for the groin. A disturbing film, leavened by humour, even someone with six knives stuck in them may seem funny. But the laughter sticks in your throat when Wick slowly forces a knife blade into an opponent's eye - and that is one of the less unpleasant scenes. The suspension of disbelief kicks in perfectly as hordes of henchmen are dispatched by Wick and his associates. The dogs jump like ballet dancers as they they tackle the assassins' tackle. Narrow streets, tunnels and passages provide the perfect battlegrounds for skilfully choreographed fights. With real ballet dancers performing in The Director's Academy, which doubles as an Assassins School. The standout fight scene occurs in a veritable house of mirrors consisting of glass cases. Chad Stahelski directs a witty if disturbing action masterpiece. 9/10.
 

hunck

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Birds of Passage

By the same team who made Embrace of the Serpent from last year, one of my films of the year.

Set in Colombia, takes in 3 decades of rural families from different tribes becoming rich growing marijuana for the American market. A strong matriarch in the main family runs things to a large extent. It starts off well before greed/madness sets in & things spiral out of control.

Better cars, fancy homes, guns become the norm. Family feuds, vengeance, debts that have to be settled, bloody retribution. Could be in the Fortean film section, involving as it does, prophetic dreams, birds as omens. Women can touch dead bodies, men can't. Each family has a messenger to speak to other families. It's forbidden to kill a messenger.

Strong cast, excellent cinematography, subtitles.
 
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Birds of Passage

By the same team who made Embrace of the Serpent from last year, one of my films of the year.

Set in Colombia, takes in 3 decades of rural families from different tribes becoming rich growing marijuana for the American market. A strong matriarch in the main family runs things to a large extent. It starts off well before greed/madness sets in & things spiral out of control.

Better cars, fancy homes, guns become the norm. Family feuds, vengeance, debts that have to be settled, bloody retribution. Could be in the Fortean film section, involving as it does, prophetic dreams, birds as omens. Women can touch dead bodies, men can't. Each family has a messenger to speak to other families. It's forbidden to kill a messenger.

Strong cast, excellent cinematography, subtitles.
I'm seeing it on Sunday. Sounds like a Fortean Film actually!
 

Yithian

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Mark Kermode says that he loved Rocketman, the new Elton John film.

I was intending to give it a miss, but I usually find myself in agreement with his views on film.
 

GNC

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Mark Kermode says that he loved Rocketman, the new Elton John film.

I was intending to give it a miss, but I usually find myself in agreement with his views on film.
I went off it when I heard they had Elton's stage surname inspired by John Lennon instead of Long John Baldry, as it actually was. Sounds like they're pointlessly playing fast and loose with an already interesting life story.
 

Swifty

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I used to have that film poster on my bedroom wall (amongst others that I could also get for 20p from our local video shop) .. "Crime is a disease and I'm the cure" .. and I used to play the game on the Sinclair Spectrum. It was a platformer but it was frustrating because you'd be doing alright and then a random pram would take you down, I even remember punching my TV once out of sheer frustration playing it .

(the gameplay demo starts at 1:45 .. re watching this, I feel a bit vindicated .. it was a bloody fast game)

 
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Lizard King

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True Grit.

I think the Coen brothers version is very much superior to the John Wayne movie - it's also much closer to the plot of the novel (which is an often overlooked wonder) and in tone to the wonderfully blunt and straightfaced drollery of Charles Portis' writing.
Coen brothers are brilliant. I loved No Country for Old Men. Pretty close to the book also.
 

GNC

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I used to have that film poster on my bedroom wall (amongst others that I could also get for 20p from our local video shop) .. "Crime is a disease and I'm the cure" .. and I used to play the game on the Sinclair Spectrum. It was a platformer but it was frustrating because you'd be doing alright and then a random pram would take you down, I even remember punching my TV once out of sheer frustration playing it .
The poster for Cobra always bugged me.... Stallone is posing, looking cool with his weapon in hand, lifted next to his head. But if you look closely, there's a burst of fire coming out of the muzzle - wouldn't that deafen Sly at the very least? Doesn't look safe. It's almost as if the fire was added to the photo later on and nobody involved was thinking straight. Quite accurate to the movie, then.
 

Swifty

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The poster for Cobra always bugged me.... Stallone is posing, looking cool with his weapon in hand, lifted next to his head. But if you look closely, there's a burst of fire coming out of the muzzle - wouldn't that deafen Sly at the very least? Doesn't look safe. It's almost as if the fire was added to the photo later on and nobody involved was thinking straight. Quite accurate to the movie, then.
I seem to remember he had a matchstick hanging out of his mouth as well ..

edit: unless it was a very thin roll up cigarette

acobraposter.jpg
 

Swifty

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The matchstick is the least of his problems if he's firing a gun two inches away from his head.
.. naah .. that's his mounted laser guidance thing innit? .. (I think)
 

GNC

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.. naah .. that's his mounted laser guidance thing innit? .. (I think)
Do you know, I think you might be right! All these years I've been labouring under a misapprehension! Thankyou for solving that, Swifters! Now solve the mystery of why the film's villains spend hours a day swinging hammers about.
 

Swifty

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Do you know, I think you might be right! All these years I've been labouring under a misapprehension! Thankyou for solving that, Swifters! Now solve the mystery of why the film's villains spend hours a day swinging hammers about.
.. and can you please explain to me why they had to put ****ing prams in the ZX Spectrum game? .. I haven't watched the film since it was released so did some gangsters roll a pram full of bombs at Stallone or something?
 
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