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Movies GF Film Review Club 2012 - February

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
After the amount of repsonses to the film thread of January I thought I would continue this, we had eleven reviews and I am very happy to everyone who has posted but I think we can beat this!

As before here is a brief breakdown on the rules etc if you missed the original post:

You will have one month to get as many reviews in as you like within this thread, if you only want to do one review that is not a problem, if you want to do thirty that is also good. They can be any films you like, the idea is to introduce people to films you love. On that note as previously said there is not limit to how long the review must be but it comes down to this:

If you want someone to watch the film would you be taken in by one line of detail?

Other than that you are free to review how and what you will, I will keep a record of all the films reviewed in the sticky post I created and I can't wait to see what you come up with, happy film watching!

As I say thank you to everyone who contributed last month and I am really pleased that I have added so many to the list as well as the sheer number of deverse films, I intend to do more world cinema this month.
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
Film: Battle Royale
Year: 2000
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama & Aki Maeda



Battle Royale was a huge surprise for me. I didn't hear about it when it come out in 2000 and I am still not sure how I came across, I just knew from the minute I saw it was going to be a film I would love.

The premise is a very simple one, at the down of 2000 the world in Japan basically went to rubbish, unemployment was high, students were boycotting school and things were going very wrong very quickly, something needed to be done and so the Millennium Educational Reform Act was brought in, otherwise known as The BR Act. It came down to this, a class were chosen at random to go to an island and kill or be killed by people you know or think you know, it is the ultimate question of; who would you stab in the back to get along in life? Except in this case they were not joking.

The film is of course a very shocking film, the idea of taking 30 children under 16, placing them, on an island and telling them to kill one another if they wish to leave the island alive is a disturbing idea but the film is beautiful, some take the all out offensive approach, others need to get off the island, some commit suicide, others see it as an excuse to have sex but at the end everyone is equal because who cares if you are the hot social teen when someone has a gun to your face, suddenly the fact you have a Prada bag doesn't exactly matter.

I really cannot recommend this movie enough but try to see it in the original Japanese with English subtitles and please try to see it before it is ruined by the American films makers in 2015...
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.
I will try to beat my previous mark of reviews from last month this month.

Granted, I don't have a lot of time to watch movies, but I will set aside time to watch and review three movies.

I know that my first two will be the documentary "Waiting for Superman" and the foreign film "Trollhunter", but I don't know exactly what my third review will be. How about "Chronicle"? Just came out in theaters... and I think it would be worth seeing. So, I'll see it soon enough.

Keep an eye out for my first review soon.
 

Bliss

Sally Twit
Chronicle
(2012)

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly and Alex Russell
Genre: Action/Drama/Sci-Fi

7/10
I decided to go and watch this in the cinema because everywhere I looked there were advertisements for it. I'd also seen the trailer a few times and thought it looked interesting.

Chronicle is about three guys in high school who develop telekinesis powers after discovering something amazing. It had a 'Cloverfield' feel to it because it was filmed with a video camera that was introduced from the start by the main character, Andrew.
I liked that what they did when they first discovered their powers was realistic. They had a lot of fun and would prank each other. A couple of them even entered a talent show at school which was a hilarious scene.

Without saying too much, it takes a bit of a dark turn which you wouldn't really see coming. The trailer does sort of give that away but you wouldn't expect the story to progress the way it did.

For a low budget film I was pretty blown away. There was a lot of action involved and I found it really exciting.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
Mulan

1998

Rating: 9/10



It has been quite a long time since I have watched Mulan, and while I have always loved the film I seem to have forgotten just how fantastic it is. I watched it tonight for the first time in a long time and was truly blown away by it. Mulan is one of Disney’s most daring stories, especially considering that it is based off a Chinese legacy and China has known to be quite touchy about these controversial topics. When I say legacy I refer to an ancient Chinese poem about a girl named Mulan who follows a loosely similar journey to the character in the film, to this day however no one is sure if the poem is factual or not. After researching a little I found out that Mulan did have a very limited release in China however I didn’t find what their actual reception to the film was. Either way watching this film is still a fantastic viewing experience.

Considering most Disney films are made with a young audience in mind they did not really hold back with this one and that is something I admire. While it may not be overly violent some scenes are still quite haunting, such as images of villages in flame and battlefields strewn with the bodies of hundreds of dead soldiers. Aside from that the film is filled with scenes of stunning beauty, such as the wonderfully drawn landscapes of ancient China. And then there is the sublime, the massive Hun army charging down a snowcapped mountain on horseback, the leader of the Mongolians holding the Emperor hostage in The Forbidden City with thousands of Chinese citizens looking on. These images are both memorable and amazing for the sheer scale of them achieved within hand-drawn cell animation.

Another high point of the film is the music, and not only the fantastic songs, as like most Disney films this is a musical, but also the beautiful score that can be heard throughout the film. This Eastern inspired music delivers the perfect background for the film and enhances the atmosphere to a large extent. The films story of a girl breaking out in a male-dominated society and proving her worth, even though it could cost her life is admirable, and for the most part I feel told quite well. It really is a film for empowering young girls and women into believing that they are strong and can be whatever they want to be. While this message may not be as relevant today in most Western countries I still feel this is an important film for both young girls and boys to watch.

While I have to admit that some parts towards the end of the film, when all the men learn their ‘lesson’ about treating women equally did come off as a bit cheesy, the message is still there however and it’s a good one. While the film obviously has quite a serious plot and many darker moments there is still humour here, most of which is provided by Eddie Murphy’s character ‘Mushu’. I feel that the humour is well timed and even had me laughing out loud a fair few times, as well as feeling as if it added to the film, rather than cheapening it as these ‘clown’ characters sometimes can. Although the exception to that being the ‘ancestor party’ scene towards the end of the film which I did feel was a bit cringe-worthy and unnecessary.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz


Warrior
PG-13

140 minutes
Tom Hardy; Joel Edgerton; Nick Nolte


The good: This movie is right up there with Rocky, The Fighter & The Wrestler. A very good story, great acting & a remarkable performance by Nolte. He definitely steals the show. This is definitely the best movie about the fastest growing sport, MMA, to ever be released. It caused a shitload of other MMA related movies to come out and they were all terrible. Tom Hardy is a great actor, and Edgerton seems to be everywhere these days. The fighting was realistic and you really didn't know which brother you should root for.

The bad: Other than Angle, which will be in the section below, I don't think I found a single thing "bad" about this film. Some people might be put off by it's 140 minute length, but honestly, I wish it was 180 or 190. Great film.

The ugly: It had Kurt Angle in it. He looked very out of place. He was supposed to be the most feared fighter in the world, a Russian (why are they always Russian? Ha) and I just didn't believe it. The movie could've been a bit better without him.

Final Score - 9/10
 

DLFerguson

Registered Member
7 MEN FROM NOW


1956
Paramount Home Entertainment


Produced by Andrew V. McLaglen, Robert Morrison and John Wayne (uncredited)
Directed by Budd Boetticher
Screenplay and Story by Burt Kennedy


7 MEN FROM NOW is the kind of movie that my mother likes to call “a good ol’ fashioned western” and it’s easy to see why. First off, it’s got Randolph Scott starring in it and if there’s a Holy Trinity of Western Icons then Randolph Scott certainly must be in it (just for the record, my candidates for the two other members of that trinity are John Wayne and Clint Eastwood) and it’s a lean, bare bones movie that tells a highly suspenseful and compelling story in 78 minutes. Despite the short running time, the movie never feels rushed and there’s an amazing amount of characterization and psychological depth. It doesn’t require you to invest a lot of time in it. It tells its story of greed, revenge and redemption without unnecessary padding or wasted scenes and dialog.

Ben Strider (Randolph Scott) is a man on a mission. In the town of Silver Springs seven men held up the Wells Fargo office and made off with $20,000 dollars. During the robbery, a female clerk was shot and killed. The clerk was Strider’s wife. His grief over her death is further fueled by his guilt. Strider was the former sheriff of Silver Springs who lost the last election to a younger, savvier man who played politics better than Strider. Strider was offered the job of deputy but his pride wouldn’t allow him to take the job and so his wife had to go to work to make ends meet.

While on the trail of the seven men Strider encounters John Greer (Walter Reed) and his wife Annie (Gail Russell) on their way to a new life in California and they decide to travel together as they’re riding through a dangerous patch of renegade Indian country. They also encounter Bill Masters (Lee Marvin) and his sidekick Clete (Don ‘Red’ Barry) who also ride along but for other reasons. It turns out that Masters knows who robbed the Wells Fargo office and he figures to tag along and let Strider kill the men while he makes off with the loot. He hopes that Strider won’t get in his way but if he does…well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do in The Old West, right?

The situation gets complicated by the obvious mutual attraction Strider and Annie have for each other, an attraction the quick witted Masters picks up on and uses for his own ends. And the seemingly meek John Greer is hiding a dangerous secret of his own that even his wife knows nothing about but when it’s brought to light changes everything between these characters.

Lee Marvin has the best role in the movie and makes the most of it. Bill Masters is a complicated character and for much of the movie you’re never really sure of whose side he’s on. He saves Strider’s life twice during the movie and calls him ‘Sheriff’ even though he has no official authority. Masters cheerfully admits that Strider locked him up twice but the way Marvin delivers the line you get the impression that Masters deserved to get locked up and Strider caught him fair and square. By the time the movie got to the climatic showdown between Strider and Masters there’s real emotional drama due to the time invested in the relationship between the two men. The relationship between Strider and Annie Greer is a little more complicated in that Annie is immediately drawn to the stoic, handsome Strider who bears so much tragedy with a sort of nobility that she’s fascinated by. Certainly Strider is more heroic than her husband who’s a nervous, talkative type who’s totally out of his depth in the savage wilderness.

If you’ve never seen a Randolph Scott movie then this is a terrific one to start with. You watch Randolph Scott and you’re seeing the template that Clint Eastwood based his western performances on. Scott is the quintessential western hero: a man of action and few words, a straight shooter with his own rough morality and code of honor that is unshakeable and unbreakable.

And for a movie with such a short running time there’s a surprising amount of action: there’s three or four major gunfights, an Indian attack, a suspenseful showdown in a saloon between Masters and the leader of the gang who stole the $20,000 and a couple of scenes between Strider and Annie where you’re really not sure if they’re saying what they think they mean or if they’re saying what you think they mean.

So should you see 7 MEN FROM NOW? If you like westerns at all and are a fan of the genre I’d say yes with no reservations at all. It’s not a classic of the genre but it’s a superior example and well worth you time to watch. If you don’t like westerns I’d still say to give it a try. The complex, suspenseful relationships between the characters as well as the great dialog may win you over.


78 minutes
 

KSpiceFantastic

Haters gonna hate.


Trollhunter (2010)
This movie is a bit of an oddity...
Long story short, a bunch a of Norwegians go out to film things, and they start to experience weird events that eventually come down to trolls.

While the story is nothing special, it's the way they tell it that is remarkable. Done in a rather, cinema-varite style, it actually works really well. The cinematography is pitch perfect and the acting is believable, despite the plot's absurdity.

Regardless, I recommend this film highly if you have 107 or so minutes to spare.
VERDICT: 8.5/10

I hope to have longer reviews in the future... but this is all the time I have now.
 
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