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A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Strictly Ballroom - 1992 - 7/10

Dance and romance.
“New steps! New steps! New steps!”
“No, there will be no new steps.”
Enter the ferociously competitive sport of ballroom dancing.
Tights and sequins, bouffant hair and glitter, AND approved footwork.
Paul is tired of the same dance moves, as well as tired of his fearful partner.
He meets mousy Fran who introduces him to her world of Spanish immigrants and Flamenco.
Stifled dreams clash with modernity on the dance floor.
Baz Luhrmann’s first film is a comic gem.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

London Assurance - 2010 - 7/10

59 year old Sir Henry decides he must remarry in order to secure a source of capital.
The prospective bride is the 18 year old daughter of his boon friend.
A 40 year old age discrepancy is lessened owing to Sir Henry telling a disbelieving world he is but 39.
Enter young Blister, henry’s reprobate son, heavy intoxicant and grasping philanderer.
And thus, by separate journeys, do the men arrive at the bride’s rat-infested farm.
Regency set comedy is a lattice of situations, boasts, impersonations, turnabouts.
From outright buffoons to droll observers. Wicked ladies to the sly Dazzle.
When you have viewed every Jane Austen adaptation and crave a farce, view this!
Subs =

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

High Road To China - 1983 - 5/10

“Hey, J. J., that Raiders Of The Lost Ark made buckets of money!”
“And your point?”
“We’ll make a version sorta like Raiders. Spoiled, feisty female, surly male guide.”
“Sounds like Romancing The Stone.”
“No, ours will be set in China! China’s been trendy since Nixon visited.”
“How much is the budget?”
“Oh, we’re not spending much. Television actors, three cameras, no stunts, no effects.”
“And you’re sure we’ll recoup our investment?”
“Trust me, people will watch anything, even this knockoff.”

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Berlin: Metropolis of Vice - 2005 - 7/10

Free-for-all tour of 1920’s Berlin, widely considered one of the most decadent time/place cities ever.
Film takes its cues from Mel Gordon’s “Voluptuous Panic” and is packed with images, most which cannot be shown here.
Much had to do with the defeat of Germany at the end of World War I, the annihilation of so many men, runaway inflation, as well as the sense of devil take the hindmost.
Tourists flocked to Berlin, mostly because German runaway inflation meant that everything - and everyone - was inexpensive.

On parade are cabarets, gay clubs, lesbian clubs, transvestite societies, nudist associations, the sex museum, drugs, alcohol, S&M and prostitutes, legions of prostitutes - male, female, mother & daughter combos, pregnant females, obese types, deformed or paraplegic, sugar lickers, racehorses, grasshoppers, half-beavers, gravelstones, kontroll girls, boot girls, half silks . . .
Of course, the inevitable backlash arrived with the rise of the National Socialist Party.
Part of the “Sin Cities” trilogy.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Shanghai: Paradise for Adventurers - 2005 - 6/10

In the 1920’s this was the “Paris Of The East.”
Gambling, drugs, prostitution of all sorts, anything goes and more.
Divided into international quarters, visitors could frolic in dangerous sections, sleep safely in Western ones.
Depending on how large your gambling debts, and to whom you owed.
One of the more infamous bosses had a habit of cutting all tendons of non-payers, leaving them human slugs.
Authors and descendants talk about big names.
Activities grew frantic as the rising sun rose in Japan.
Part of the “Sin Cities” trilogy.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Harold And Maude - 1971 - 7/10

Surprise underground cult favorite through the 70’s and 80’s. Perhaps less so now.
Harold, born into wealth and privilege, is a gloomy son.
Attempting suicide, arranging mock suicides, frequenting graveyard funerals.
Much of this is late teen rebellion against dominating mother.
At one funeral, however, he encounters 70 something Maude.
Maude has a zest for life, embracing each moment, cherishing the past.
And her past is rich, a time of emperors and camp horrors.
The two bond in this wonderfully quirky love story, satire on the times.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Blue Sky Maiden - 1957 - 6/10
AKA - Aozora Musume // 青 空 娘

Sweet story of girl, recently graduated from high school, going to live in Tokyo with her father.
She had been living with grandma, since ma had borne her out of wedlock and there was that shame factor.
Oh, and dad had been married back when, is still married, and the family is not at all keen about her moving in.
With a big smile and almost boundless cheer, she tries to win them over.
Immaculate compositions, as always with Japanese productions, nice period look at Post War Tokyo.
Partially predictable, but with a couple of unguessed plot turns.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Heavenly Creatures - 1994 - 7/10

Schoolmates Juliet and Pauline are fast friends, too close if you ask their parents.
Possibly a bad influence on each other, to boot.
They are obsessed with themselves, their relationship, and the fantasy world of Borovnia they create and live in.
Borovnia, ruled by Diello, is a glorious riot of plants, colors, castles and scheming.
This Fourth World is far removed from the ordinary Australian day to day, and insufferable parents.
The first Peter Jackson film that I really took notice of is an imaginative telling of fevered love.
Based on true incidents of 1956.
Many years later, I attended an author reading (from one of the “girls”). No one in the audience asked.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

The Dark Glow Of The Mountains - 1984 - 6/10
AKA - Gasherbrum: Der leuchtende Berg

Early Herzog documentary follows climbers Hans Kammerlander and Reinhold Messner.
They intend to ascend two Gasherbrum peaks (Kashmir) in one expedition, without oxygen.
Less an extreme sport documentary than a study of the mountaineers.
What drives them, their thoughts on fallen climbers, realizing their place in vast Nature.
Sure, there are breathtaking angles, most from a dizzying upward trajectory.
Yet this is not another “Hey, look at me!” soul, begging endorsements.
Reinhold and Hans do this because they feel compelled to.
Subs =

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

No Man’s Woman - 1955 - 6/10

Fatale Marie Windsor, of purring voice and voracious eyes, dominates in so-so Noir.
Her husband demands a divorce so he can marry sweet young thing.
“Offer me a huge alimony plus half your business," says she.
When the company founder offers $30,000 she ejects him, saying, “I said an offer, not a tip.”
She forces her female assistant to work on her day off, then she makes a play for her fiance.
When the fiancé tries to evade her, she blackmails him.
Bad girl Marie is a piece of work, even tells folks she’s still 29.
Sadly - am I’m not divulging too much here - she gets murdered midway and the story falters.
The other characters are weak and uninteresting in comparison.
OK time waster. Like watching Perry Mason minus Perry and Paul.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

The Ghost Of Yotsuya - 1959 - 7/10
AKA - Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan // 東海道四谷怪談

Iemon, of samurai rank, but impoverished, is denied marriage to the lesser noble’s daughter.
In fury, he slays him and his retainers, then blames another.
Obstacle removed, he marries Oiwa, has a child, lives in poverty.
Except then a rich girl becomes available, and Iemon needs wife #1 to disappear.
Oft made Horror tale, steeped in Kabuki and Gothic.
Bloodier and grislier than any Western film from this era.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

The Secret Fury - 1950 - 6/10

During the wedding finale, when the minister asks, “Can anyone give just cause …”
An interloper blurts out, “The bride is already married!”
Investigations soon unearth court documents, a justice of the peace, witnesses, motel employees, not to mention her new groom.
Does she suffer amnesia, or is she insane?
First half is overcooked melodrama, a woman’s weepie, before veering into Noir.
Robert Ryan excellent as the vexed new husband. Colbert fine, if too old as befuddled bride.
Ending puzzles as it explains who and why, but not how.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

All The World’s A Screen - 2016 - 7/10

This was a fortuitous mistake.
While searching for a Shakespeare doc, narrated by Ian McKellen, I stumbled upon this documentary and it is excellent.
Film adaptations of the bard’s plays.
Seems to target four or five: “Hamlet,” “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” “Romeo And Juliet”
Covers Silent era to recent productions, and a fair number of foreign interpretations, Kurosawa’s Ran being the most famous.
Several I never heard of and started hunting.
More mainstream releases are fine intros for novices, the obscure will suit buffs or cinéastes.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

After Hours - 1985 - 7/10

Another episode of “the worst day of my life, ever!”
Office drone Paul meets attractive Marcy who says, “Call me!”
He takes her up on her offer, though enroute to her apartment his $20.00 bill flies out the cab window.
Paul should have viewed that as an omen and gone home to bed.
Instead a cascade of misadventures, missed connections, shadowy characters push him into the funhouse.
Also, stay alert, the perils of dating and mating.
Fun for us, if you take sadistic glee in watching the suffering of victims in the pinball machine.
Possibly Scorsese’s funniest film, possibly too bleak, too black, too New York for casuals.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Malice - 1993 - 6/10

Happy couple, professionals with limited funds and looming repairs.
They take in a boarder. Doctor, philanderer, charmer (Alec Baldwin, wonderful).
Problems, courthouse drama, hey, that’s just the opening act.
Then the roller coaster plot plunges down, down, down.
Trashy thriller with a deliciously kinked and knotted narrative.
Watch initially for the thrill-o-rama joyride.
Rewatch to marvel at the construction, and the unbelievable cast.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Hamlet Goes Business - 1987 - 7/10
AKA - Hamlet liikemaailmassa

Finnish reworking transforms the indecisive prince into a Noir player, as manipulative as he is lethal.
Hamlet’s father is murdered. The murderer marries Hamlet’s mother, takes over management of the company.
He announces he intends to sell off the shipping and timber divisions, in order to corner the rubber duck market.
You read correct. Rubber duck market. One of many alterations to the story.
Stark black n white, loaded with droll comedy, and murders aplenty.

I have seen over a dozen Hamlets. All are overlong and I find Hamlet himself annoying.
This version runs a concise 87“ and is cloaked in a grim smile.
Caveat emptor - Scandinavian humor might be an acquired taste.

What are you reading?

Ashton, Rosemary - 142 Strand

Physical address of John Chapman, writer, publisher and editor of the influential Westminster Review.
A quarterly, it was an outlet for progressives and radicals, questioning Victorian society and Faith.
Incubator of Victorian titans including Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer, Marion Evans, James Froude, Harriet Martineau, too many more.
As a journal of intellectual thought, WR never made money.
Indeed, countless pages are devoted to Chapman’s unceasing quest to find backers and donations.
Chapman himself is inspiring as well infuriating.
He possesses vision, but lacks focus. Rather than mend faults, he makes excuses. In financial matters, he is totally hopeless. He holds his wife in contempt, cheats on her with several women.
For all that, he kept the Westminster ongoing for 40+ years.
Ashton’s book is informative, though chronology proves a merry skip-around.
Readers leap ahead five or ten years, then swing back, only to touch upon earlier incidents.
Most of the “names” are bygone and may be forgotten save by English majors and Victorian fans.


igorleoni said:
… And yes, I’ve been quite busy with some other stuff so I didn’t have the proper time to work on it.
Hopefully that will change soon. I’ll edit the OP to let people know the edit is unavailable for now. Thank you all for your interest. I really hope the edit will be up to your expectations.

Two years on. Any progress on your Blair Witch 2?

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

Ladyhawke Rescored – MusicEd921

Filesize = 11.3 GB, Video = 1920 X 1090p AVC, Audio = 221 kbps 2-Channel Stereo AAC, No subs.

A substantial edit, removing the 80’s soundtrack, replacing it with Jerry Goldsmith’s score for “Lionheart.”
Do not let the audio specs fool you. The music is robust and dynamic throughout, often swelling dramatically.
The audio editing is fabulous. Small scene removals, I never noticed.
This improves this film quite a bit, though I have always had reservations about it.
For one thing, the film still looks cheap to me. There are simply not enough extras. From pursuing soldiers to castle inhabitants, where is everyone?
Also, it is way too clean. Costumes always appear straight from EZ Sudz Washland.
For Rurgar Hauer fans, he is top flight in this! Glorious.
Aside from Michelle Pfieffer, every other actor borders on ham.
Mouse (and Mathew Broderick himself) remains excruciatingly annoying.

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

Future Perfect (Hitchhikers Guide)- Adabisi

Ah, a Radio 4 adaptation!
Of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, this might serve as a warning against the perils of alcohol.
Ford and Arthur blather away, attempting to decipher their latest predicament.
Arthur and Ford remain annoying twits, and Zaphod I would have spaced after ten minutes. Fortunately for him, and other listeners as disposed as I, he’s only on for four or five minutes in this short.
No video (I simply scored a 10). Audio is mostly discernable, though a few murmuring passages can be challenging.
I listened cold, then later read Adabisi weaved numerous sections into one mind and time boggling stroll.
Mind you, I appreciated more than I enjoyed. More clever than funny.

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

The Hidden B+ - The Scribbling Man

Filesize = 1.7 GB, Video = 710 X 386p AVC (m4v), Audio = 290 kbps AAC, 2-Channel stereo. No subs.

Man, for a “lite” trim, a lot of work has been put into this and it shows!
It’s not so much what is cut, and the cuts are minimal, but the sly rearrangement aid coherence and push the tempo.
Hidden was always an enjoyable thrill ride, part spree killer, part something unexplained.
(MacLachlan was either shrewd casting, or he really keyed into his aloof, removed character.)
There are numerous audio edits, as well, mostly for the better.
A little synth goes a long way. Excising or lowering audio on yesterday’s minor hits is pulled off well.
Me? I woulda kept the wheelchair, more strip club, more sex, but that may be Mötley Crüe DNA.
I often bitch about dialogue, but not here. My version did not have subtitles, nor did it need.
Bottom line, this edit improves on the original release.

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

Getaway (Drive) - thecuddlyninja

Not sure what cuddly was aiming for with this short of “Drive.”
This version is certainly not a love story. More like a tone poem or mood piece.
Some of the transition edits are first rate, meaning inspired.
All editing is solid, save for the closing credits which end with a thunk.
A couple seconds would have helped.
The narrative follows Gosling’s character as he befriends folks.
Scene to scene, fairly cohesive though it does not fit into this Consecution.
Don’t misunderstand, I enjoyed this, but cuddly has done better work.