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A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Blue Eyes Of The Broken Doll - 1974 - 6/10
AKA - Los Ojos Azules de la Muñeca Rota

The drifter walks a deserted road, tying to hitch a ride.
He finally gets lucky, though the tractor driver warns there is no work in the area.
Nevertheless, he does find work, as handyman for three sisters, each deeply troubled.
One is wheelchair bound, one wears a prosthetic, the third seems a nymphomaniac.
Add a secretive nurse who makes phone calls and who drugs one of the sisters.
Anything else? You mean the mysterious homicidal maniac who is killing blue eyed blondes?
Wonderfully entertaining film! The look is Italian Giallo, the tone is Noir.
Our hero, the drifter, finds himself trapped in a sticky tangle of perfumed sex and his own sour luck.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Vagabond - 1985 - 7/10
AKA - Sans Toit Ni Loi

The freedom of the road.
Midwinter. The young female drifts into the country region, unwashed, clearly broke.
She sets up her tent wherever, one time in a graveyard, or sneaks into abandoned houses.
Men, she’ll tag along with, until the reefer is gone, or she tires of them.
From time to time, someone will help her out.
Also from time to time, villagers talk directly, voicing their opinion of the girl.
The camera is indifferent, giving neither backstory nor explanations.
18 year old Sandrine Bonnaire is brilliant as Mona or Simone. Her character is not an empty soul, she is simply uncompromising, unflinching in her avoidance of ordinary life, or the bourgeois.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Sorry We Missed You - 2019 - 6/10

During the interview, Ricky starts listing his work experience.
A lot of job skills. Can he not hold a job any length? Or does he have crap luck?
Ricky lands the driver position for a delivery outfit.
This is a franchise, though. Independent contractor. He has to buy his own delivery truck. Then work like hell because the debt is crushing.
I kept yelling at the film, “Don’t do this.” “Dude, think!” “Don’t get into debt.”
Yet, the hand is dealt, and you play as best you can.
Ken Loach film is a blistering look at the gig economy.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Resurrection - 2005 - 5/10
AKA - Revenge // 부 활

Poky K-drama of twin brothers and revenge.
Without giving much away plotwise, one brother is murdered and the other takes his place.
Their personalities differ, as do their taste in clothes, food allergies, outlooks …
Does anyone around them notice? Aside from puzzled expressions, no.
So we have a drama packed with dense heads you want to yell at.
Moreover, at 24 padded episodes, this series went on way too long.
Seriously, you could skip the first four episodes altogether, since E05 gives a full recap.
Every episode has a couple of five minute music montages as a character moons about unhappily.
The tempo perks up in the last four episodes - - if one has not quit viewing - - although the plot loses steam.
Koreans offer more vengeance driven shows than others, and they always incorporate the consequences.
Little of the gloating merriment easily witnessed elsewhere. Here, even villains have innocent families.

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

This Is Tokyo (Gojira - 1954 and Godzilla, King of the Monsters! - 1956) - G&G-Fan

“History shows again and again, how Nature points up the folly of men.”

What a shrewd idea. Combining the 1954 Japanese version with the 1956 American version.
Meaning all the scenes with Raymond Burr’s character are in English, the rest in Japanese.

Filesize = 5GB. Video = 1920 X 1080p AVC. Audio = 84 kbps, 2 Channels, AAC. Subs, yes.

The narrative bounces back and forth between the Japanese version and the US.
The styles are different. The Japanese mixes action, a weak love story, and ethical concerns.
The US version is akin to a dry documentary, explaining action, strategies and backstories.
While they fit together and complement each other, it is a slightly uneasy marriage.
There were one or two audio bites that could have been excised, though nothing untoward.
All in all, this is an excellent edit, especially for a first one! I hope G&G-Fan does more.
Note: Although the mp4 played in my unit, I eventually converted to mkv for easier control.

This is G&G-Fan’s first edit. I hope OT members give this a view, and provide feedback.
Please encourage promising editors.

This Is Tokyo

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

Grindhouse Vol. 2 (Death Proof/Machete) - Leeroy

Only meant to watch one of these, but I got caught up in the spirit and went for the double.
Must have been the curry commercial.
Leeroy has performed grindhouse magic on these two gems.

Deathproof benefited the most, as the structural rearranging tightened the narrative.
(The bar scene still plays out too long, Tarentino not wanting to trim his dialogue.)
Audio was great, video jump edits were OK, too.

Cuts in Machete were spot on.
Immigration talk grew repetitive in the original, so I’m glad Leeroy truncated that.
Losing the notion of Machete as lady killer was fine, too.
Truth to tell, I didn’t notice many trims, which speaks well of the edit.

Video - grindhouse effects were not too noticeable.
Rookies often over apply the damaged look, by turns distracting and intrusive.
Solid job by Leeroy, showing nice restraint.

FanEdit Reviews - Post Your Reviews Here

Under The Terminator’s Skin (The Terminator) - DominicCobb

Initially, I was not (and am still not) sure what Dom’s purpose was with this.
For a straight up experience, this can be a challenge, as stray dialogue is muffled throughout.
The replacement audio predominates, a heavy, slow wash of industrial.
I modified my expectations and began to view this as a film from the Terminator’s POV.
It’s perspective, the soundtrack fellow robots would reference, their priorities which might differ wildly from those of fleshy humans.
If so, then this is audacious, brilliantly original.
Not that there is much in the way of narrative, yet what would an android care about narrative?

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Gogol - 2018 - 7/10
AKA - Гоголь

Government clerk and part time writer, Nikolai Gogol, while taking notes at a murder scene, suffers another fit.
During such seizures, he often has visions, premonitions, and exhibits automatic writing.
Mr. Guro, of the secret police, realizes Gogol might be quite useful and takes him as his assistant.
They depart St. Petersburg and head into remote Ukraine, where a series of brutal, baffling murders are ongoing.
Circa 1840, the look is period costume and dark Gothic.
The narrative is loosely based on “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka” and “A Terrible Vengeance.”
That said, this is Gogol on acid, with nudity, serious bloodletting, and a surreal vibe.
People will probably either love or hate this – but – if you are remotely tempted, this is a must.

Note: Subs for the film trilogy, which I attempted to watch two years ago, were atrocious computer generated.
The eight-part television adaptation subs were much better.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Scotland Yard Investigator - 1945 - 6/10

During WWII, the British Museum holds the Mona Lisa for the Louvre.
A greedy collector has his eye on it, however.
Early on, the museum director and collector square off.
Well played by crusty C. Aubrey Smith and Erich von Stroheim.

Soon, to their mutual consternation, they discover a third rival has secretly outflanked them.
OK Republic programmer benefits from mostly British cast and attention to details (license plates for example).
A chance to watch character actors carry a film.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Valerie - 2006 - 6/10

Valerie laughs with the other girls at the end of the fashion shoot.
She declines the after-party invite, however, because she wants to look fresh for a casting tomorrow.
Next day, she receives the silent smile. “Thank you. We’ll be in touch.”
No they won’t. Valerie, in her early twenties, is over the hill. Past it. Old.
Despite the career, her youth, an agent, potential offers, she is sliding into homelessness.
On one hand, the film is about a character you never considered becoming destitute.
On the other hand, Valerie is aware of her situation, and you watch her scramble and claw to escape.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Toten Augen von London - 1961 - 6/10
AKA - Dead Eyes Of London

Atmospheric mystery / creeper with a dark Noir look.
Scotland Yard has its hands full as a serial killer targets elderly rich men.
The main suspect is one “Blind Jack,” a massive bear of a man with a satisfied smile.

And yes, Jack is blind! The film, by the way, is a German production as is the language.
The story plods occasionally, and there are budget constraints, but this is a good Krimi film.
Police procedural. The inspector works through blackmailers, prostitutes, crooks, liars, killers.
A lot of inventive camera work and visual surprises maintain interest throughout.
Watch for young Klaus Kinski as shady operator.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Natural City - 2003 - 6/10
AKA - 내츄럴 시티

Fabulous looking Korean SciFi, based on Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep.”
Not a Blade Runner remake or clone, though the story is set in a glossy, high tech dystopia.
Viewers will also recognize elements from Ghost In The Shell and Matrix, especially the stunt work.
The plot deals with renegade cyborgs breaking into a medical security facility to get data on human DNA.
Going against them are paramilitary combat troops, the MPs.
Brilliant marrying of live action and CGI, the latter not overdone.
Some of the action wire work struck me as repetitive, but that seems a minor quibble.
The real breakdown and flaw in the story occurs in the three quarters point, focusing on the love story between trooper R and his soon to expire cyborg girlfriend, Ria.
The love story has no depth, no resonance. The cyborg, referred to as dolls, has the personality of a goldfish.
What does he see in her? Not to spoil, but why does he betray fellow soldiers again and again for her?
The pointless love story undermines sympathy for the main character, and has generated countless bad ratings.

When I first watched this fifteen years ago, that failing was the main reason I disliked the film.
Recently, I thought of a solution and rewatched the movie.
This time, any shared scenes with R and Ria, I switched off the subs and their infantile dialogue, and imagined they at the very least conversed like adults or lovers. Not a knuckle-dragger and his fembot.
For all this, an amazing looking film and decent actioner.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Macabro - 1980 - 6/10
AKA - Macabre

Jane is supposed to take her children to a movie.
Instead, she leaves them so she can kick the sheets with rough ‘n ready Fred.

Fred, who rhymes with dead! Which, 13’ in, is what he is, along with one of Jane’s children.
Drama, set in New Orleans, oozes sleaze and obsession.
Interiors are faded antebellum. Wrought iron, lace, armoires, amid cheap mod-cons.
Throughout, characters spy on each other, even one who is blind.
Storywise, there is a lock and a secret behind (which I suspect most will guess).
Word of advice, try not to imagine what Jane is doing with “the secret.”
Twisted Lanberto Bava film is not Horror, not Giallo, but seedy trash and perfect for those who have a taste for such.
The girl who played daughter Lisa (Veronica Zinny) had an expressive face. This was her only film.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Beats - 2019 - 7/10

Mom’s new boyfriend is a copper, and he wants to move her family to a nicer borough.
Away from “scum” elements, meaning Johnno’s mate, Spanner.
Scotland, 1994, the government has banned gatherings around music consisting of repetitive beats.
Techno, industrial, dubstep. "The only good system is a sound system.”
Illegal raves are shuttered by police with brute force. “Know your role, shut your hole.”

Johnno and Spanner catch wind of an upcoming event, and they are mad to attend.
“Don’t be a slave, come to the rave!”
This view of Scotland consists of deserted backstreets and empty wastes.
Use of black n white heightens the emptiness of their daily world.
Adults repressing teens must be ingrained in all mammals. This story is old, but it is edgy and manages to shake off the ancient dust. (Quotes above are from the film, which is peppered with gems.)

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Frankie Boyle: Hurt Like You’ve Never Been Loved - 2016 - 6/10

Comedian Frankie Boyle in hometown Glasgow, before an adoring crowd.
An hour of humor, while not specifically offensive, will manage to offend many.
Rich and powerful are OK targets. Those Mr. Boyle calls “Elites.”
Polio victims, though? Well, so long as they are examples and not punchlines.
Pedophiles? Depends on who gives, who receives.
I had watched Boyle for years on “Mock The Week.”
A lot of his material is laugh out loud funny, a lot is deliberately insensitive. Like this stand-up outing.
Mr. Boyle reminds me of Donald Trump and an infinite number of obnoxious souls. The rancor, the contemptuous belittling of anyone and everyone, the entitled self justification.
Neither men are unique. They simply represent the prevailing attitude (echoed in the real world and in the virtual world) of “I’m right, I’m right, I’m always right, and you better know it!”

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Tokyo Vampire Hotel - 2017 - 5/10
AKA - 東京ヴァンパイアホテル

I started watching this two … three years ago.
Colossal expectations curdled into disappointment.
For centuries, clan Corvin has dominated clan Dracula in the vampire hierarchy.
With the fulfilling of an ancient prophecy, out come the knives, guns and teeth of clan Dracula.
The opening episodes are ballistic and excessive.

Would that writer / director Sion Sono maintain this intensity and plotting.
Alas, he shot his wad in the first installments.
Afterwards, any madness he can imagine, he tosses into the mix.
If that fails, he repeats action sequences and verbal histrionics.
Repetition grows tedious. As the plot advances nary an inch, viewing becomes a slog.
Too bad, for this ten part series boasts eye-popping color design and extravagant costumes.

Acting is bellicose and over the top in the midsection. Screaming, then fighting.
The series is a confused mess, seemingly aimed with one eye toward the American market.
Meaning, wagons of violence, blood and gore, but scarcely any nudity (odd, since human characters are ordered to start making babies for future blood supply).
The last three episodes move on surer footing. A haunting melancholy pervades.
I’ve written more than usual about this series, primarily because of the director and the blistering opening.
This had the making of an astounding show. Until it began wallowing in its own self conceit.
Caveat emptor.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

This House - 2013 - 7/10

Theatre junkies, take heart!
During the Covid lockdown, the National Theatre began limited airing of stage classics.
In 1974, Labour returns to power, ousting the Heath Administration.
Theirs is a slim majority, however, so they must form coalitions and make deals to retain power.
Play follows whips from Conservatives and Labour as they maneuver, coerce, promise, swear.
By turns profane, funny, poignant, and scathing.
The workings of government is often equated to the making of sausage.
Outstanding theatre, brilliantly delivered.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Broadway Love - 1918 - 5/10

Small town Midge tries her luck on Broadway.
High-flying friend, Cherry Blow, invites her to her nonstop flapper parties,
Both are chorus girls, but Cherry knows how to drain men’s wallets, and their mojo…
Several contrived romantic adventures follow, as does Midge’s ex beau, trying to propose.
The wild parties are fun, but the menfolk are a dull lot.
More so is Midge, played by low-wattage Dorothy Phillips, who had a career playing prim, wholesome types.
Juanita (anyone got cocaine?) Hansen plays the gold digging Cherry.
Eve Southern has small, smoking role as girl who flirts with Midge’s small town suitor.
Who’s the suitor? Lon Chaney!
With this cast, and different script, oh, if only.
The print I saw was OK.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

The Hunt - 2020 - 6/10

A passel of gagged strangers wake up in woodlands, far, far from home.
They make their way to a clearing and open a big ole crate, stuffed with weapons.
Whoo dog!
Better, most of these folks display ready familiarity with firearms and ammo.
Straight off, they recognize they’ve been setup by the Illuminati, or the Elites, or the 1%.
The shadow government, the deep state. And they could be right…
But then the killing starts.
Terrifically funny film, a carnival ride into “most dangerous game” territory.
Peppered with references to bleeding heart liberal know-it-alls, and 2nd Amendment gun happy survivalists.
For now, both sides of the US political spectrum are crying foul. Crybabies.
This may date badly in ten years, so saddle up already!

What are you reading?

Lorrain, Jean - Monsieur Du Phocas

The young, fashionable aristocrat Duc de Fréneuse (before he used the more common, Phocas) falls under the corrupting influence of a cynical, decadent artist.
Fortunately for us, he leaves behind his somewhat rambling journal with a stranger, whom he believes / hopes is of sympathetic disposition.
Drugs, debaucheries, old loves gone to seed, vipers and backstabbers.
Not Pooh Corner, this. Rather Dorian Gray with mentors less elegant than Lord Henry.
This is on par with Huysmans’ “À Reboirs” (I found Lorrain easier reading), and a milepost of the French fin de siècle.
The Tartarus edition has an excellent introduction, with numerous photographs of players of the era.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Aterrados - 2017 - 7/10
AKA - Terrified

Enjoyment of this may depend on ones suspension of disbelief, or suspension of logic.
Within five minutes, you realize this house is haunted.
Yet the homeowners, and adjoining neighbor, close their eyes or pull the sheet over their heads.
The “presence” is not a friendly spirit.
This prologue sets the stage for the paranormal crew, experts with tech gear.
Film has a forbidding, claustrophobic tension throughout.
Limited backstory, though I accepted the segmented theory suggested by one.
Score based on how well done this is, though characters’ common sense is negative.

A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Nightflyers - 2019 - 4/10

SciFi fans, me included, are easy suckers, desperate to watch space bits, knowing we will never personally venture there, and it is in increasingly unlikely any human will in a generation or two.
Anyway, planet Earth is dying! Pollution, disease, global incineration, over population, the gamut!
Meanwhile, out near the rim of our solar system, there is an alien craft.
We try to make contact, it hurries away.
(Why would aliens flee from an infectious, self-destructive, crazy species, carrying weapons?)
Luckily for humanity, we have one spaceship, the Nightflyer, and it sets forth!
Early on, I knew this was going to blow, even though initial IMDB ratings were 8/10.
First warning, 20+ producers in the opening credits, including the Big Cheese*.
The plot is cobbled together twaddle, lacking logic and focus. Acting, across the board, is Grade D ham.
Ropy special effects, blinky lights designed to excite easily dazzled boys and manboys.
The ship is huge. Private quarters are the size of a living room. Corridors, five can walk abreast. Instead of crawl ducts, there is an under corridor! For all that, interiors are dark. As if they cannot pay the light bill.
Personnel are all nonstarters who would have been rejected by Weyland Corp in the first interview.
I could go on and on, at this waste of time that gives zilch entertainment.
Do yourself a favor, watch episodes of the immortal “Pigs In Space” instead.

  • The Big Cheese, AKA Geo RR Martin.
    Working on this fiasco, instead of finishing that fire n ice thing that millions are waiting for.
    Nice choice, genius.
A few reviews . . (film or TV)

Love, Cecil - 2017 - 8/10

Superb documentary of modern Renaissance artist, Cecil Beaton.
Photographer, painter, writer, designer, confidant – ha, less so with the latter.
He hit his stride with the Bright Young Things and Guinness Girls.
Meaning, landed gentry, the titled, faded nobility, the rich and famous of his youth.
Then he found work with actual royalty, the Windsor line.
Not bad for the aspirational class.
There is an undercurrent to Beaton, however, a palpable seething resentment and envy.
That barbed, keen edge lends bite to a not so feel good life.
The narration also supplies a sly wisdom to prospective artists and artistes.