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19-Aug-2013
Last activity
31-May-2020
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Post
#1351126
Topic
A few reviews
Time

Kingdom: S01 - 2019 - 7/10
AKA - Kingdeom S02 // 킹덤

Rumor is, the king is dead. If so, the crown prince is heir.
Except, the king is not exactly dead. Dark medicine, and an herb, the resurrection plant, keep him alive.
By day, he sleeps. By night, his hunger for human flesh is ravenous.
Those bitten, also turn into flesh eating monsters.
The contagion soon spreads across the countryside at a blistering rate.
Government ministers officially deny the disease exists, while quietly amassing more power for themselves.
The population, meanwhile, is given short shrift and left to fend for themselves.

Sound familiar? Whoever developed this had a crystal ball.
Slow to catch fire, but by E03 this explodes at fever pitch.
Followed immediately by season two.


Kingdom: S02 - 2019 - 7/10
AKA - Kingdeom S02 // 킹덤

Meaner, rougher, more treacherous, and certainly bloodier than S01.
The contagion has scorched vast swathes of the countryside.
Even rallying support, the crown prince faces a menace that swells exponentially.
Meanwhile, those in power continue to deny, while turning the horror to their advantage.
As before, this has an uncomfortable resemblance to unnamed nations during the Covid deaths.
For commitment avoiders: S02E06 @ 37” there is a closure, if you want to end it there.
Others, watch on. S03 will air when it airs.
(Netflix owns this series, and the K-drama fanbase have expressed concerns the US firm may “milk” the series.)

Post
#1351125
Topic
A few reviews
Time

Pit And The Pendulum - 1991 - 5/10

Update of Mr. Poe’s story starts promising, soon disappoints.
Lance Henriksen plays the head inquisitor, Torquemada.
Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) is writer / director.
And it’s a Full Moon film. Don’t laugh, Full Moon often shot features overseas, in this case, Italy.
Locations, costumes, and atmosphere are very good.
Henriksen is fine, though a bit over-the-top at times, everyone else varies.
Crowd scenes are poor, and like similar Horror yarns, there is too much comic relief.
Not smart one-liners, either. Low IQ antics.
In other cases, the director might have improved the script, but since Gordon wrote the script, no chance.
This could be reedited into a better film.

Post
#1351124
Topic
A few reviews
Time

Suburra - 2015 - 7/10

Explosive, high voltage crime drama sprawling across a week in gaudy, glitzy Roma.
The opening 30-40 minutes is a tour de force of gorgeous visuals and minimal dialogue.
Characters and situations are propelled across the screen, in one instance literally.
Afterward, the tempo settles - to a degree - as a powerful intermediary tries to broker temporary peace between several layers of combatants.
A big deal is imminent, huge for leading families, but timing is delicate.
No matter. Tempers fiery hot and colder than ice demand red stained honor.
Superb cinematography, detailed interlocking narratives, make for a great adult flick.
Sex - nudity - language - streams of blood. γνῶθι σεαυτόν

Post
#1351123
Topic
A few reviews
Time

The Galaxy Britain Built - 2017 - 7/10

Christmas cracker tossed out to younglings and sithsters across our system.
As Star Wars turns 40, this documentary examines the British contribution.
The sets, Elstree Studios, props, costumes …
Aging participants reflect on the tight time schedule, meager budget, and the attitude of “this is a comic book!”
Some of this draws from earlier documentaries, other elements were new to me.
Scenes from ESB are shown, followed by a progression to Rogue One.
One has the feeling this might be the last hurrah for many of the interviewees.

Post
#1351122
Topic
A few reviews
Time

If you simply want to share what you are viewing, captainsolo has a magnificent, long running thread.
Last movie seen

This is a thread for your cinema or television reviews.
Anyone can post reviews in this thread. I am neither possessive nor territorial.
If you viewed a movie or TV show and want to rate it, great. Mainstream - indie - foreign - doc - cult.
Please try to share what you liked or disliked about the film or series. Details.
My own scribbles seldom focus on popular flicks. Thank you. Good luck.

Note: During June, I may post at a fairly brisk clip.

Post
#1350493
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Natural Born Killers: Tarantino Cut - thecuddlyninja

Furious edit of Stone’s N B Killers slices away all lulls, dream sequences, and moralizing. This is a blistering grinder of Tarantino’s original script that hurtles ahead like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. thecuddlyninja’s version does not resemble a Stone film, nor one of Tarantino’s knockoffs. Instead, this reminds one of full bore Takashi Miike. I mean that as high praise.

Video - 1920 X 1080p AVC. Outstanding mix of color and black n white, distortion, inappropriate zooms, hard cuts, etc … Many visual tricks and changes keep this film popping. Even what could have been mistakes work well and look amazing - in this down and dirty, drive-in thrasher.

Audio - 192 kbps, 2 Channel stereo AAC. Very good sound, though suffers occasionally where original score was wiped. Dialogue generally clear. No subs.

Cuddly learned a lot from his first draft of this. FE members aired complaints about his song selection, which aped Tarantino scores. Every time I heard a familiar cue, I cross checked it in my memory. Reservoir Dogs - Kill Bill - Pulp Fiction - Death Proof - Pulp Fiction again … Distracting and yanked me out of cuddly’s edit, especially when I got stuck trying to recall which QT film the cue was from. I watched several of his workprints, and by V2, Cuddly had reworked the music to excellent effect.

Narrative - With so much footage sheared, coherence suffers. When Mickey is in Drug Zone we figure out he needs anti-snake medicine. How and when he was bitten? How did that Botango riot start? Throughout, I knew what was occurring, but I think 5 minutes of bits added here and there would clarify confusion caused by cutting. (alliteration alert!)

Enjoyment - Absolutely. Pedal down, all the way. Cuddly, using Tarantino’s script, has given NBK a Swisha House “chopped and screwed” treatment. Delicious. In many ways this is an authentic companion to the original. I could envision this being included in the DVD box as the “storyboard print.”

Post
#1350489
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Star Wars: The Epic Picture - T-Bone

Initially a mixed bag for me, now strikes me as overstuffed.
The Imperial Empire invades Earth in the late 1930’s or 1940’s!
Scenes of walkers superimposed against WWII troops and tanks, amid cityscape rubble.
Brilliant!
Creative premise of what an Empire invasion would resemble.

Then, the edit leaps off the rails and dives into lunacy.
Clips from other films (“Bridge Over The River Kwai”, “Force 10 From Navarone,” and “Rasputin, The Mad Monk”) are inserted, seemingly at random.
Different tones, different looks. No narrative coherence whatsoever.
The black out segues between scenes grew noticeable after a bit.
And three hours? Really?
Eventually, I found myself impatient for the edit to end.

This is clearly one of the oddest creations ever to be approved by the FE judges.
Not blueyoda “odd,” either. WWII vs Star Wars would make an inspired edit.
Unfortunately, this editor did not deliver his concept successfully.
Fine pledge, poor turn, little prestige.
For all that, worth studying.

Post
#1350484
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Crouching Dragon: The Tiger Lily Cut (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) - ssj

When the original Crouching Tiger was released in 2000, thousands of hardcore Asia film fanboys plunged into a tailspin tizzy.
“This is going to ruin Hong Kong and Japanese exploitation!”
Apologists for the film and peddlers of imports did their best to mollify those nervous Nellies.
And yet … mainstream Westerners, exposed to “artistic” Asian action cinema, began sniffing the landscape.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made a sh!tload of money, and, as doomsayers predicted, future Asian fare became easier for world digestion. Wackiness went on the fade.

Thankfully, ssj mangled this talky bi-polar film back to the crazy roots of Shaw Brothers!
By jettisoning mounds of talky exposition and utterly subverting the subtitles.
Plot now revolves around a stolen Iron Chef blade, and the bickering and backstabbing that go on behind the scenes. And, of course, battles to regain the mighty kitchen cleaver.
Should I mention additional, juicy double entendre dialogue?

Great antidote to the borefest that the original was. Energy level diminishes in the final act, and jokes start to fall flat. The story tumbles into a confused mess, but what the hey, this is still brilliant for what is it.

Post
#1349482
Topic
What are you reading?
Time

Collins, Max - Bait Money

First appearance of Collins’ “Nolan” character, criminal loner patterned after Westlake’s “Parker” and Willie’s “Sand.”
After surviving a botched hit, Nolan brokers a truce with Family members who hold a grudge.
He must pay $100K to brother of underboss he whacked years earlier.
Because of a Family contract, no pros will work with him, so he is forced to enlist amateurs.
Plot follows the last heist theme, with a lot of time devoted to establishing the caper.
Good read by a young Collins (age 20) before he placed Allan in his signature.
Followed soon thereafter by a sequel, Blood Money.


Collins, Max - Blood Money

Immediate sequel to Bait Money finds Nolan returning to the Family,
managing a small motel with lounge and pool.
An offer if extended for full reinstatement, a larger establishment to manage,
if he pays a hefty “consideration.”
All too soon, he learns someone found his stash and fled with it.
Guns are oiled, and the hunt begins.
Another fast moving, hard boiled yarn by a very young Max Allan Collins.

Post
#1348727
Topic
What are you reading?
Time

Harper, Sue - The Dark Nest

There must be close to 50 stories here. Each, three pages in length, give or take.
This is not a book to plow through hurriedly, as if fulfilling your reading quota.
Rather, read 1-2 before retiring, or if you need a light breeze to dispel those cobwebs gathered whilst trying to translate that Abdul Alhazred manuscript you chanced upon at Thrift Town.
In “The Growler,” Clarissa’s … ahem … vagina finds her voice, and begins voicing her very strong opinions.
Middling actor Selina stumbles into onstage instability, drawing the attention of a new audience.
Sarah, a clever thing, juggles two suitors in “Doubling Up.” Back in the day, running two or more dates wasn’t an easy trick. They always find out. And when they do …
“The Promontory” finds the lone woman standing on the shore, narrowing her eyes, watching the small boat approach. Behind her, the landscape is nondescript. All she can do is wait.
I’m not even halfway into the contents. The book is filled with brief moods.
This must have been fun for Ms Harper to write, it certainly was to read.

Post
#1348405
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Star Wars: Fall Of The Jedi (Neon Noir) (Star Wars Prequels) - ONLYYODAFORGIVES

The three Star Wars prequels are combined into a single viewing experience. Running time is under two hours, many stories have been jettisoned. The heaviest trims are from Phantom Menace, weakest of that trilogy.
Music has also been dramatically altered. So much so, I would argue this ought to be considered a Silent film. What dialogue there is, is quite sparse and conversations are often murky.

Filesize = 1 GB. Video = 1910 x 816p AVC, Audio = 125 kbps AAC. 2 Channel stereo. No subs.

Straight up, this is a fairly inspired edit, radical in it’s approach. If you go into this thinking, “This is going to be like an extended music video,” you will not be disappointed.
The video editing is alright, though there are too many fades in a franchise that noticeably uses wipes. Many of the transitions could have been more seamless.
The audio remains problematic. The score is fabulous. Synth, ambiant, techno, dark beat, Industrial, glockenspiel.
Forget the dialogue, though. It is muddy or garbled.

Members from OT and FE previewed and offered suggestions aplenty back in 2015.
Me included. In fact, I mentioned two video glitches, and they are still there.
In the end, the editor walked away from both forums. His edit has been available on YT in decent quality ever since.
No mistake, this is a bold, enjoyable version.
Could be better, but what’s there is damned good.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Intro-sequence-to-neon-noir-fan-edit-of-the-prequel-trilogy/id/17852

Post
#1348401
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Dune: The Alternative Edition Redux (Dune) - spicediver

"A film that’s been admired, hated and puzzled-over in fairly equal amounts … "

How about, all the above?
Stunning set design and ridiculous costumes. What are the Sardaukar, firefighters?
Gorgeous Brian Eno theme - then Toto.
Exposition that advances the plot, dialogue that booms bombastic.
Top tier actors driven by madman Lynch to ham it up.
I loved Dune - I hated Dune.

Spicediver did an outstanding job in focusing the narrative thrust of the movie.
I appreciate how he organized the structure into four books.
Video editing was fine. When deleted footage was used, it was noticeable. Sharp to grainy. Yet the result was in keeping with his intended edit.
Audio, once or twice I caught some dialogue that did not match mouths. More often than not, there was a crop or he inserted audio when character backs were turned. Again, this was meant to enhance pacing or narrative, so I don’t want to nitpick.
I really enjoyed this edit, which eclipses my other copies, including the mini-series.

Trailer = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK5eoV93oyg

Post
#1347499
Topic
UNIQUE KAIJU FAN EDIT: ガイガン-キングギドラ-ハルマゲドン / GIGAN - GHIDORAH - ARMAGEDDON
Time

I have been rather naughty here. I ripped the English subs, then rewrote almost all.
My version is not very kind to the characters, making them fools.
My subs (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ACdIClTiiJ85pjr3qLO1dsS1vxiSHWgB)
If necessary, rename the subtitles so they match the title of the film.

Post
#1347339
Topic
What are you reading?
Time

Summers, Montague - Six Ghost Stories

My, what a delicious, if sadly brief, collection of treats.
In “The House Agent,” an impulsive, headstrong woman pressures her husband to do-do-do lease the long-empty country house. No matter that is has an unsavory reputation with villagers. She refuses to listen, won’t hear a word of it!
Summers must have possessed incredible hearing, as well as an organized memory. “The Governess,” a poor soul in service to a flighty, scattered gentry, is brought to life by an aristocratic dame.
“A Toy Theatre” and “Romeo And Juliet” are wicked forays into the uglier sides of theatre boards.
Let us not overlook the book collector, and his purchase of a possibly genuine / possibly fake rare grimore.
(Word to the wise. When translating Latin, do not do so aloud.)
These are all Jamesian tales, seasoned with naughty humor, similar to Reggie Oliver.

Post
#1346967
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Raiders (Raiders Of The Lost Ark) - Steven Soderbergh

Yes, that Steven Soderbergh. He has done several of these since his temporary retirement from directing. He has also remained aloof from the fanedit community or is incognito.

The adventure classic gets a sonic overhaul. All audio - dialogue, music soundtrack, sound effects - wiped. In essence, Raiders is a Silent. This is so viewers can concentrate on the visual design without being distracted. The editor does tack on a very distracting film score, however.

Image is glorious black n white. High contrast, razor sharp. Interiors bear a deep black, Noir look. No story editing or narrative rearranging, though. As has been noted before, Raiders plays well in black n white.

For audio, Mr. Soderbergh selected music tracks from Trent Reznor scores “The Social Network" and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” At times, cues match the tone or tempo of the video narrative - other times the music is jarringly amiss. One gets the feeling he fired up his favorite tracks without considering how appropriate they would be.
Mr. Soderbergh likely has access to state of the art audio editing equipment, or computer software. He could have easily tinkered with his musical cues so they matched the screen narrative. Again, he did not seek feedback from the fanediting community.

Still available on Mr. Soderberg’s site - extension765 - in decent quality as of 2020 05.

Post
#1346964
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

The Descent: Extended Cut - Mikedrew87

Wail, baby, wail! Wilderness survivalist vacationers rappel into unexplored depths.
Deep, deep inside the cavernous depths, they learn real survival skills.
Neil Marshall’s best film (though Dog Soldiers is a close second) and a great horror ride.

Video - 1280 X 720p AVC. A great looking film. Dense blacks, a lot of moving shadows, and dim lighting. Plenty of ways this edit could go wrong. Excellent rendering beginning to end. Most of the missing scenes went by unnoticed.

Audio - 192 Kbps, 2 Channel AAC. Really? Stereo? The original audio is a superb sound mix of echoes and ambiant noises, perfectly in keeping with a cave interior. This is missed here. Also, no subs. Yes, I know I am in a minority in commenting about subtitles. A fair amount of dialogue is difficult to understand. Whispering, shouting, characters talking over each other. I may know this flick by heart, but others may not.

Narrative - Generally, I couldn’t care less about extended cuts. Footage was trimmed for a reason, either it was repetitive, or useless padding, or it dragged the pace. The inclusion of ten brief scenes gives more shades to a few characters. Otherwise, the narrative itself is untouched.

Enjoyment - I’ve watched the DVD dozens of times. Moreover, growing up, I went caving hundreds of times and The Descent is one of the best cave films out there.
It does have two strikes against it, however.
One, the cast is all female. insecure males dislike females: be they wives, coworkers, exes, doesn’t matter. These guys, for one reason or another, just have an animosity. If you are one, then don’t bother with this. γνῶθι σεαυτόν
Second, this movie is a real nail biter. Tension tightens throughout for at least two thirds of the story. The reveal of the dwellers comes late. Impatient souls will be happier with a trailer.
For everyone else, this is a terrific thriller /slash/ horror flick.

Post
#1346057
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Star Wars: Ultramachete (Phantom Menace & Attack Of The Clones) - Razil

Straight off, the faneditor refers to this as “Clone Wars III & IV.”
The choices made are peculiar. The film begins with the pod race on Tatooine.
Next to the battle of Naboo, followed by ten years after …
Afterward, a mild editing of The Attack Of The Clones.
In case you were wondering, this is NOT a three-in-one of the prequels.
Filesize = 8 GB. Video = 1920 X 1080p AVC. Audio = 5.1, 550 kbps AAC. No subs.
Despite the specs, the aspect struck me as curiously flattened.

Note the black bands on top and bottom.
Once excised, the true ratio is closer to 1920 X 620p. Very, very widescreen. Stretched.
Clearly, he was having trouble. I remember Razil sought help at FE, but do not recall if veteran editors offered advice or not.
Sadly, his thread there has since been purged. (The one at OT abides. See below).
Razil had PM’d me back in the day, unfortunately as I was losing interest in yet another SW edit. So I never watched at the time.
Apologies, Mr Razil.
Recently, I checked his PM from 6 years ago. Lo! the file links are still active.
So, belatedly, I downed and watched.

Razil’s epic opening explanation. (Wall of text alert!)
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/New-project-Star-Wars-ultramachete-bit-of-help-needed/id/16070

Post
#1346053
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

The Frighteners Recut (The Frighteners) - Neglify

Frighteners is one of those Horror films I watch every couple of years. Peter Jackson’s career was ascending rapidly at this stage, having nailed a hit with Heavenly Creatures and bracing for the challenge of Lord Of The Rings.
As a genre film, Frighteners remains the uneasy mix. Part Mystery, part Thriller, all Horror, yet undermined by moronic comedy. Silliness, stupidity. Several cringe sequences make the Stooges look like Woody Allen. Any improvement on that score is well applauded.

Video - As expected, excellent work here. I never missed a single trim, though deep in the film I realized I had not winced yet. The moments I had hated were gone. The colors were fine, albeit subdued, but that is Jackson’s palette.

Audio - Highly dynamic 5.1 mix. Dialogue was clean and focused. No subs. I never needed subtitles, but checked after the fact.

Neglify’s version is now my preferred Frighteners, displacing the original. My main problem with Jackson’s version was always the humor. Silly rather than clever, dull witted rather than razor sharp. Jackson’s jokes are sophomoric at best. (Feebles remains a brilliant exception.) Neglify excised the stupidity. The trims might be light, but they are effective. Stellar job.

Post
#1345734
Topic
What are you reading?
Time

Camus, Albert - The Plague

I first encountered this, a lifetime earlier, in college FLIT (Foreign Literature In Translation).
The book was not what I was expecting, me being 19-20 and simply reading the title of PLAGUE!!!
The novel stayed with me, though, to the point that I bought a used Modern Library edition and added it to the stacks.
I next read this in the 80’s, as AIDS spilled out from the margins, and looked to sweep like a scythe through humanity.
In the book, after the eruption of rats, key characters wither to their essence.
The resigned, the valiant, the selfish, the industrious, fighting an implacable foe, a microscopic adversary that seems to posses a cunning intelligence.
Weeks ago, I started rereading this again, as the pace of the current panic escalated.
I read slowly, half hoping by the time I finished some sort of remedy or control might be at hand.
The fool and his delusions.

Post
#1344987
Topic
The Mandalorian : Radical Redux Fan Edit Ideas - <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong>
Time

Mandalorian could be turned into an old-fashioned serial.
15" per episode, with recaps and reduced credits.
Example: E02, purloining the egg for the Jawas. Just as the creature is about to finish him - Cliff!
Example: E03, pinned down by gunfire from the Guild - Cliff!
Could be rendered black & white, could be silent (ala, TMBTM).

Post
#1344557
Topic
FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here
Time

Fear and Loathing In Fantasy Mission Force (Fantasy Mission Force) - matrixgrindhouse

Man, what a rush!
For fans of old school Hong Kong this is pell mell action.
The image is not the best, 640 X 480p. Appear VHS derived.
Worse, the audio is dubbed. Actually, that makes it much funnier.
What’s missing? Why, subtitles of course. In this case, they ought to be incoherent and have nothing to do with screen activity whatsoever.
Ostensibly a mission against Axis powers, agent Jackie Chan and a horde of extras tangle with soldiers, smugglers, kidnappers, Scottish Highlanders, an inept officer corps, masked cavalry, ninjas, Amazon warriors, and, wait for it, Snake Plissken!!
“Fantasy Mission Force” was ever an insane experience.
One gathers Mr grindhouse has cut and warped this as if he were under intoxicants and hallucinogenics.
Hence, the “Fear and Loathing” prefix.
Edit is neither worse nor better than the original, though the plot condensation is stunning!