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MOVIE BUFFS

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It Probably Would Have Worked Just as Well With "Mr. and Mrs. Doe" [26 Jun 2016|02:49pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | content ]

I've posted a review of the 2005 version of Mr. And Mrs. Smith over at my journal.



Review here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/140274.html

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And They Lived Happily Ever After...? [25 Jun 2016|11:13pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | frustrated ]

I've posted a review of the original Mr. and Mrs. Smith over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/139967.html

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The curious glances of Allison Tooey [21 Jun 2016|11:12pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | busy ]

I've posted a review of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant over at my journal, as part of the Hit Me With Your Best Shot Challenge.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/139697.html

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Shaken Up and Stirring My Thoughts Around [19 Jun 2016|07:22pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | irritated ]

I've posted a review of The Wrecking Crew over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/139320.html

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"SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK" (2012) Review [16 Jun 2016|06:13pm]

lmoore66
Silver-Linings-Playbook-Bradley-Cooper-Jennifer-Lawrence


"SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK" (2012) Review

I wrote this REVIEW of "SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK", the 2012 adaptation of Matthew Quick's 2008 novel. Directed by David O. Russell, the movie starred Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence.
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Allison Tooey Dislikes Truman Capote, News At Eleven [15 Jun 2016|11:25pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | okay ]

I've posted a review of the movie Infamous over at my journal.



Review here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/139194.html

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In Like Flint, Carlito's Way, Open Range & Ronin [16 Jun 2016|12:26am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Of Spies, Gangsters & Cowboys

IN LIKE FLINT:
Flint (played by James Coburn) is a sixties super spy - possibly the American answer to James Bond. This is the second cinematic outing for the character and the tongue is very definitely in cheek - so much so that this feels more like a prototype for Austin Powers than a rival to Bond. It isnt quite funny enough to work as a comedy or spoof but its a little too silly to retain much credibility either. I remember very much enjoying 'Our Man Flint' and I don't know if that still stands up to contemporary viewing but this really doesn't.


CARLITO'S WAY:
Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in! Pacino treds familiar turf to previous movies both in theme (the gangster that wants to leave it all behind him) and questionable ethnicity (here Puerto Rican rather than Scarface's Cuban). This is by no means a bad film but this later Pacino film (from 1993) already indicates a 'past its peak' phase in Pacino's career. Sean Penn turns in a memorable performance as do a range of other cast members but I can't help watching Pacino in this and remembering his better roles. I will say it again, this is by no means a bad film - it's very watchable - but is a pale shadow of Pacino at his best.

OPEN RANGE:
Kevin Costner stars in and directs a pretty decent western. I think this stands as a love letter to the classics of the genre as much as being part of the genre itself. Costner does okay behind the camera but on screen just about every seen is stolen by Robert Duvall. The rest of the cast do well too (I would love to see Michael Gambon do more westerns!) but Duvall is brilliantly cast. The story is comparatively simple and told in way that is pretty much free from cynicism and the on screen violence is used sparingly and to great effect. I liked this more than I was expecting to.

RONIN:
Robert DeNiro leads an excellent ensemble cast in a European set gangster/spy/heist thriller. Like Pacino in Carlito's Way I couldnt help looking at DeNiro and remembering his better roles but again this is not a bad film. There is a bit of an epic car chase - grand by the standards of the day but feels slightly dated now - that feels a bit like an early version of a Jason Bourne movie, posssibly encouraged by the European setting. The Ronin aspect hinted at by the title is not properly explored in my opinion despite being directly referenced in the story. DeNiro is clearly supposed to represent the 'master'less samurai' but the analogy doesn't quite hold water, but you can see what they were going for. I know I sound critical. Despite my moaning it's a decent enough film but it already feels quite dated and the character Deniro plays has nothing like the impact of his earlier work.

2 movie buffs| tear your ticket

A Slightly Different Meaning to the Phrase Art History [12 Jun 2016|03:58pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | uncomfortable ]

I've posted a review of The Monuments Men over at my journal.



Review here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/138901.html

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The Reviewer Despaired At Dusk [08 Jun 2016|06:55pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | frustrated ]

I've posted a review of The General Died at Dawn over at my journal.

movie

Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/138749.html

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Angry Birds & Inside Out [08 Jun 2016|12:25am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Two animated movies:

ANGRY BIRDS:
So this was based on a computer game? I struggle to think of a decent movie that was made on that premise, though the spoof trailer for 'Minesweeper' is inspired:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHY8NKj3RKs

I think that you need to be pretty young or pretty simple to really enjoy the movie as there isn't a lot going on. There are some very funny gags at the start of the movie as we learn how angry one particular bird is. There are some nice set pieces at the end of the film climax too but in between there was so little to keep my brain engaged that I am not sure whether I actually fell asleep and missed some of the movie or I just wished I had. This could have been a very funny short cartoon - and maybe the game is brilliant - but it doesn't cut it as a movie.

INSIDE OUT:
Since Pixar started turning out some uninspired sequels I have been less fastidious in promptly following their output. This is why I have only really caught up with this one on dvd. I actually quite like this. It isn't as groundbreaking or as funny as some of Pixar's best nor is it as beautiful but it is one of the most emotionally grounded. This might not be surprising seen as the film is mostly about emotions - in this case personified within the brain of a little girl. The Pixar film it most closely resembles I think is 'UP' but this movie is very much about an internal journey rather than an external one. I enjoyed this and would be happy to share it again with either kids or adults.

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I also would have accepted an ironic ending. [05 Jun 2016|11:14pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | hungry ]

I've posted a review of My Favorite Wife over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/138464.html

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Monsters: Dark Continent and Crimson Peak [03 Jun 2016|12:13am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Two thoughtful genre pieces:

MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT:
From the start I should declare my feelings about this are a bit mixed. I was a big fan of the original film in this series, 'Monsters'. The original movie was thoughtful, beautiful in places and wildly original. This sequel, which is set ten years after the original film and is this time mostly set in the Middle East, struggles with the legacy of the original now that surprise and originality have been spoken for. That deals with most of the negative.
The positive aspects include a quite insightful modern war movie - that just all happens to have giant aliens in it. The main characters are a group of friends who sign up to the American military to fight in the region. Partially the friends do this to escape from Detroit and it's poor economic prospects but there is a genuine sense of the men wanting to protect their family/country from the alien menace. When they arrive in the Middle East they find that they are not welcomed as liberators and they quickly face the threat of a growing insurgency that sees the American's weapons as more dangerous than the actual creatures. Aside from the giant monsters this can and does contain powerful echoes of the invasion of Iraq.
On this level the film is brilliant and the creature design is brilliant once again but the plot meanders and isnt always clear. This could be taken as an accurate representation of life (which doesn't have to have clear meaning) or it could be poor writing. There is a lot in this film I like but I am not sure if I like the film itself, if that makes sense. I think I need to watch it again, and maybe the original too.


CRIMSON PEAK:
I like Crimson Peak. It's a gothic horror that could have been an Edgar Allen Poe story if it were not co-written (and directed) by Guillermo Del Toro. There is a 'people element' with some of the characters up to no good (including murder) but also a strong supernatural element and it is not too often that we see that balance worked out successfully in a modern movie (at least in the Western world). The period setting works very well and the film manages to be satisfyingly gothic without ever straying into the camp as many Hammer type films have done. With a 15 rating in the UK the horror remains quite mild but the characters/ performances are strong enough to keep the story engaging. Few, if any new doors were opened by this film but it nicely explores part of the palate this genre rarely reaches. For what it's worth, I approve.

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Well, he certainly had a tolerance for grandeur... [01 Jun 2016|03:41pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | annoyed ]

I've returned from my trip, and I come bearing a review of Intolerance over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/137991.html

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This Movie And I Were Made For Each Other [29 May 2016|02:17pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | rushed ]

I've posted a review of Two of a Kind over at my journal, under the heading "Birds of a Feather..."

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Robot Overlords, Stag Night Of The Dead & X-men Apocalypse [29 May 2016|07:46pm]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Three varying degrees of disappointment:

ROBOT OVERLORDS:
This has been looking up at min from the bottom of the bargain bin for a little while. From the title is sounds like the ultra trashy nonsense I often enjoy but Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson head the cast - might it be 'good'? The answer is that this film falls a little between the stools and suffers because of it. It could be a mega Summer blockbuster, but it lacks the big bucks and the big bangs. It could be an ultra cheap sci-fi silly-fest but with a decent cast it takes itself just a little too seriously. I gather that the writer and director were aiming for something like 'The Goonies' - a child friendly (and child led) light adventure. This certainly has some merit. When I was ten years old I would have eaten up this giant robot caper, but I am not ten anymore. It seems to lack the class of Goonies but that might be the nostalgia goggles kicking in. The more recent 'Super 8' though managed to capture some of that magic in a way that Robot Overlords did not, so maybe it isn't just the nostalgia. This is far from a bad film but it is aimed at a very specific audience and I think it comes close, but I'm not convinced.

STAG NIGHT OF THE DEAD:
It's got a snappy title and has zombies, but to say that it is all downhill from there undersells what a waste of space this film is. As a comedy it could have been the new 'Shaun Of The Dead' or even (given the title) the new 'Hangover' but it failed to make me crack a smile even once. I totally admire the way independent film makers can bring anything to the screen (its a tough business and takes close to a miracle) but there is little here that is worth that (or any) effort. Poor characters, poor script, pretty lame premise - the only thing they had going for it was the title and they wasted it.

X-MEN APOCALYPSE:
I like hero movies and I liked this too, but for the first time in a while I am going to have to qualify my support a little. Partly my disappointment is because my expectations were so high. X-Men was my favourite comic when I was a reader and this 'First Class' franchise reboot has been very enjoyable. Apocalypse was a serious bad-ass in the comics so since that teaser at the end of Days Of Future Past I have been getting excited - and the reality could not quite match up.
There is a lot here that I really do like. I love the tinkering with characters that we have already seen in earlier movies (Blob, Nightcrawler, Storm, Angel and a host of others all make a reappearance to some degree). I like that the cinematic universe is expanding. I really like Quicksilver. Once again the scenes with him are among the best in the film, certainly the funniest. I like that the female characters kicked serious arse in the film and that Mystique is becomming more of a figurehead.
What I don't like is harder to pin down. In the comics when Apocalypse shows up it is a major event with the story taking place not only across several issues of the X-men comic but also crossing over into other spin-off titles, such would be the scope of the story. (The Civil War story in the recent Captain America movie was an even bigger example of this). To fit that kind of story into a single movie takes a different kind of balance and I am not sure if the movie quite has it. To give gravity to the consequences of the events in this film a lot of set up work is necessary, which bogs down the plot in places. At other times events spin past the multiple characters so quickly that it becomes difficult to relate to the characters at all.
The bottom line for me is that telling a story in comic form (especially one story across multiple comics) is one thing but stories in movies move and form differently. It seems that as success builds on success the movies are picking up more ambitious and complex stories to adapt. Captain America was a bit of a handful, X-men possibly more so. I still had a good time with this film. I enjoy seeing the comic characters I have loved for decades brought to life and re-interpretted, but this particular story is a little uneven and therefore maybe not quite as satisfying as earlier installments.

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A Movie That Should be Redialed [25 May 2016|02:11pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | okay ]

I've posted a review of Sorry, Wrong Number over at my journal, under the heading "I Think The Movie Was Put On Hold..."

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[23 May 2016|02:45pm]

darkphoenixrisn
My review of Captain America: Civil War is here.
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Hidden "G"old [21 May 2016|02:03pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | busy ]

I've posted a review of "G" Men over at my journal, under the heading "The 'G' Stands For Good."

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[21 May 2016|04:05am]

darkphoenixrisn
Demon (2015)

This Polish/Israeli co-production about a wedding disrupted by a dybbuk-possessed groom is not so much horror as dark comedy with elements of magic realism. It's a bit of a slow burn that gradually captivates on its way to an enigmatic ending. The final film from director Marcin Wrona, who committed suicide after it was completed, it combines a lyrical visual sensibility (Pawel Flis' cinematography is excellent) with razor sharp dark humor. Wrona also gets strong work from his cast, including Itay Tiran as the groom, Agnieszka Zulewska as the bride, Andrzej Grabowski as the bride's father, Adam Woronowicz as a drunken doctor, and Wlodzimier Press as an elderly Jewish professor. Also, it's nice to see a film with some dialog in Yiddish. Recommended.
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"THE GOLDEN BOWL" (2000) Review [18 May 2016|09:05pm]

lmoore66
top5-goldenbowl3


"THE GOLDEN BOWL" (2000) Review

I wrote this REVIEW of "THE GOLDEN BOWL", Merchant-Ivory's 2000 adaptation of Henry James' 1904 novel. The movie starred Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale and Nick Nolte.
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