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The Girl with All the Gifts - (2016)

Another Zombie movie, this time ripping off 2013 Video Game The Last of Us. I could imagine for those who have never played through the game this film might seem quite innovative. I Am Legend also seems to be an influence, as some of the next generation zombies in this are half-human, and see people who are fully human as the monsters. Glenn Close plays the scientist who wants to dissect young Melanie (Sennia Nanua) to try and find a vaccine.

The plague in this world is caused by fungus and spores, and the zombies eventually reach a plant stage where thousands of spore pods are awaiting opening - and the end of the human race. The make-up and locations (some filming was done in Pripyat - the abandoned town in Ukraine close to the Chernobyl power plant) - they all look good, but I could never forgive the derivative plot and lazy screenplay.

3/10

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gi..._All_the_Gifts


I don't know if it was a ripoff but the source material came out in 2013





In The Heights (2021)

The most controversial film of the year...well not really because everyone involved is so very sorry that they didn't have enough black people in the story. Well except for Benny who is black but he's not black latino and that's wrong because...telling a story about Dominican's in Washington Heights needed to have more darker brown people.

Y'know back in my day we allowed artists to tell their stories without needed to fill out some check lists to make everyone happy. That doesn't seem to exist anymore, and frankly any time In the Heights enters the political arena or moves towards Benny's story the plot stutters and my eyes roll. This is an average musical with no songs I'll remember a month from now. It's anchored by some very strong work from Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace and Melissa Barrera. Sadly the Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Dominican actors are to "light skinned" so the film has failed to some people.

The film runs two and a half hours and it has a number of high spots. Theirs a particular song/performance by Olga Merediz and somes scenes with Jimmy Smits that should get Oscar attention. This is likely the best work of Smits career I'm a little bummed that we didn't get more from him and his relationship with his daughter because that's the stuff that really hits home. The idea of staying, succeeding and living in New York is a powerful idea..it's not gone into enough.

No way! I was just asking if anyone had seen this. Surreal.



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User

November (2017)


What a crazy film. Absolutely incredible cinematography, this one absolutely took me by surprise. A must see for fans of surreal/folklore.


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minds his own damn business

November (2017)


What a crazy film. Absolutely incredible cinematography, this one absolutely took me by surprise. A must see for fans of surreal/folklore.


Watched this one without subs, and I'm not sure it made much difference. It was too alluring to turn off.
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This Side of the Law (Richard Bare, 1950)
6/10
Correspondence (Carla Simón & Dominga Sotomayor, 2020)
6.5/10
The House Across the Street (Richard Bare, 1949)
+ 5/10
Deerskin (Quentin Dupieux, 2019)
6/10

Bizarre slowburn thriller where Jean Dujardin tries to convince himself his heinous actions are justified.
Wallflower (Frederick De Cordova, 1948)
6/10
The Time, the Place and the Girl (David Butler, 1948)
5.5/10
Romance on the High Seas (Michael Curtiz, 1948)
6.5/10
Journey to the Beginning of Time (Karel Zeman, 1955)
+ 6/10

A group of boys goes back in time to witness evolution and the beginning of the world.
Three Live Ghosts (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1936)
5.5/10
The Human Voice (Pedro Almodóvar, 2020)
6/10
Man Alive (Ray Enright, 1945)
5.5/10
Forklift Driver Klaus: The First Day on the Job (Stefan Prehn & Jörg Wagner, 2000)
7/10

Don't trust Klaus but enjoy this ultra gory short which plays out as a public service safety announcement of what not to do.
One Sunday Afternoon (Raoul Walsh, 1948)
6/10
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (J. Lee Thompson, 1965)
5/10
Flipped (Rob Reiner, 2010)
6/10
The Woman with the 5 Elephants (Vadim Jendreyko, 2009)
6.5/10

What is ostensibly about a Dostoyevsky translator turns into a powerful reflection on memories that Svetlana Geier recalls about her family in the last days of her life.
Assa (Sergey Solovev, 1987)
6/10
Spitfire (John Cromwell, 1934)
+ 5/10
Affectionately Yours (Lloyd Bacon, 1941)
5.5/10
New Order (Michel Franco, 2020)
6/10

Violence breaks out at a wedding and all over Mexico as a revolution occurs.
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the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
Watched this one without subs, and I'm not sure it made much difference. It was too alluring to turn off.

Fair point. Estonian Mythology isnt my strongest subject, so I dont think I would be able to spoil much for someone even if i wanted to! Its definintely not one that i'll forget for a while though.



Forklift Driver Klaus: The First Day on the Job (Stefan Prehn & Jörg Wagner, 2000)
7/10

Don't trust Klaus but enjoy this ultra gory short which plays out as a public service safety announcement of what not to do.
I love that short so much.



"Teachers" - (1984)

Another '80s teen comedy, but this is more of a black comedy. Darker than most with teen pregnancy, thievery, bullies and other issues that still linger today.. Maybe that's why it isn't rated as high as other films of that era. I found it funny with some great dialog from a pretty solid cast.

7/10



minds his own damn business
Fair point. Estonian Mythology isnt my strongest subject, so I dont think I would be able to spoil much for someone even if i wanted to! Its definintely not one that i'll forget for a while though.
Not that I'm not curious about Estonian Mythology, but since there's no dialogue for about ten minutes into the film, by the time I realized that I didn't have a sub option, I already knew that I had to ride it out regardless. Definitely a testament to its power.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gi..._All_the_Gifts


I don't know if it was a ripoff but the source material came out in 2013
Ooops again



Damn it, I think you're right. The Last of Us was released in 2013 and the source novel for The Girl With All the Gifts published in 2014, but based itself on a 2013 short story by the same author : M. R. Carey. It means two works being produced at around the same time with remarkable similarities to each other. Interesting that his short story was titled Iphigenia in Aulis - that of a play written around around 405 BC, reminding me that no work is completely original - and to beware of the word 'ripoff'.

I didn't look hard enough, and thought they'd taken most of The Last of Us and rehashed it. Ignore that mini-review.


By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53208918

Maudie - (2016)

I really enjoyed this immensely. Maudie really showcases the talent of it's two leads. Sally Hawkins (who I've had a bit of a crush on since Happy-Go-Lucky) stars as folk artist Maud Lewis (maiden name Dowley.) A fascinating figure, self-taught and expressive in her painting. Her body cruelly twisted with rheumatoid arthritis, she nevertheless meets Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) by answering an advertisement for domestic help. The two marry, their fortune and love for each other riding crests of waves and diving deep down.

What a very talented man Ethan Hawke is - I've never seen him play a character like Everett Lewis. All pent up and angry, and yet shy and reserved outwardly. This story is really a love story, Maud's paintings come second to the remarkable journey these two people go on, and it illuminates her work all the more. She lived something of a painful life, but what we see inside of her from her paintings is a picture of love and happiness. A career high-point for director Aisling Walsh and writer Sherry White who have mainly had success on the small screen.

8/10


By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54671089

Marjorie Prime - (2017)

Another really good one this - science fiction along the lines of the incredible film Her. This is a future where it's possible to turn on a hologram of a loved one who has passed - and feed it all the events and personality quirks that person had. Eventually, through Artificial Intelligence, the hologram learns, increasing the likeness. This is what old Marjorie (Lois Smith) has. Her husband long gone and Alzheimer's Disease making inroads into her mind, she has the likeness of a younger version of the man she married to talk to (Jon Hamm.) He tells her stories that have been fed to him, but have been long forgotten by her.

Marjorie has a daughter (Geena Davis) and son-in-law (Tim Robbins) who come to visit - and they try to work out all of the grievances that affect most families...

WARNING: spoilers below
After a while we realise that Marjorie herself has since passed away and her daughter is talking to a hologram Marjorie. Then, once the son-in-law is older we find that he's talking to a hologram wife. The final scene, where Tim Robbins is nowhere in sight and the three holograms are having a conversation with each other, is an illuminating and rather good ending.


8/10


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Spontaneous - (2020)

I didn't like Spontaneous as much. Comedy-wise I feel it was reaching for Booksmart but it never felt as real. This isn't just a teen movie though, this is a faux-horror movie where members of Mara's (Katherine Langford) class start inexplicably exploding for no apparent reason. They explode into buckets of blood splashed around - we see no bones, skin or organs - so that takes the horrific edge off things and makes things funnier than they'd otherwise be.

WARNING: spoilers below
For those of you who love teenage romance, there's one in this. But in ends rather explosively.


Just your average teen 'coming-of-age' story, except with kids exploding all the time. It sounds more enjoyable than it actually is.

4/10


By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62938027

Come to Daddy - (2019)

Elijah Wood sports an Adolf Hitler haircut in Come to Daddy. Another odd character for him as Norval Greenwood - someone who is trying to reconnect with his father, having last seen him when he was only 5-years old. You might be able to see what's coming already, so I'll just say that this was fairly average fare. It was a decent horror/thriller/comedy, one where parts of it really worked well at times, but I can't see tomorrow's Criterion in desperate need of adding it to their collection.

5/10



DEEPSTAR SIX
(1989, Cunningham)
A film with the number 6 (Six, Sixth, etc.) in its title • A horror film





DeepStar Six, the film, follows the crew that then has to deal with this creature, as well as dealing with their respective attitudes and agendas. The crew includes submarine pilot McBride (Greg Evigan) and love interest Joyce Collins (Nancy Everhard). As for the rest, well, they don't matter that much because the plot is so predictable, that 10 minutes in, you can probably guess who's gonna live and who's gonna die, who's the hero and who's a weasel ($20 if you said Miguel Ferrer).

And that's the main issue with the film. There's a certain laziness to it that pretty much neuters any potential effect that the film could have. From its obvious rip-offs of Alien to the amount of stupid exposition and decisions that the characters make. To make matters worse, for a film that's plagued by such a stupid script and dumb characters, you would've thought they would decide to jump right into the nitty gritty, the kills and the gore; but director Sean S. Cunningham decides to spend a whole hour with the empty banter between the members of the crew before the sh-it hits the fan.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
I preferred Leviathan.




By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47178660

Marguerite - (2015) - France/Czech Republic/Belgium

This was a hoot. A funny, touching film about Marguerite Dumont (I'll say more about the true inspiration for the film later) and her attempts to launch a singing career, despite being perhaps the worst singer in all humanity. Not helping the wealthy Dumont is the crowd of hangers-on who insist her singing is marvelous, thereby convincing her she's one of the greats. Hearing Catherine Frot sing as Marguerite is perhaps one of the funniest things I've come across this year :



Adding more pathos to this 1920s drama are an artist who uses her singing to make a point, a journalist who writes an ironic column which is duly delivered to Marguerite and reinforces her delusions and her husband who is afraid of what will happen when the truth finally dawns on her. The film was inspired by Florence Foster Jenkins, and in 2016 a British/French film called Florence Foster Jenkins was produced starring Meryl Streep (who was nominated for Best Actress at the 2017 Academy Awards for playing Florence.) I really want to see that now, but fear it won't be as good as Marguerite.

7/10
Wow. That actually looks really good to me.




By Warner Bros. - http://screenrant.com/wp-content/upl...-the-gifts.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50996877

The Girl with All the Gifts - (2016)

Another Zombie movie, this time ripping off 2013 Video Game The Last of Us. I could imagine for those who have never played through the game this film might seem quite innovative. I Am Legend also seems to be an influence, as some of the next generation zombies in this are half-human, and see people who are fully human as the monsters. Glenn Close plays the scientist who wants to dissect young Melanie (Sennia Nanua) to try and find a vaccine.

The plague in this world is caused by fungus and spores, and the zombies eventually reach a plant stage where thousands of spore pods are awaiting opening - and the end of the human race. The make-up and locations (some filming was done in Pripyat - the abandoned town in Ukraine close to the Chernobyl power plant) - they all look good, but I could never forgive the derivative plot and lazy screenplay.

3/10
Holy ****. I was interested in seeing this but that sounds like a direct rip-off of The Last Of Us and I don't know if I could get over that.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gi..._All_the_Gifts


I don't know if it was a ripoff but the source material came out in 2013
Hard to say, I guess, as both the short-story and the game were released the same year, with the full-length novel written the year after The Last Of Us. Development for tLoS began in 2009 and I can't find when the author says he started writing his short-story version, only that it came out in '13, and a film adaptation of The Last Of Us was already in the works when The Girl With All The Gifts novel came out, so who knows. But the similarities between the two are pretty startling it's not just the background story or anything, it's like, nearly the same story.
I guess I'll give it a spin and decide if I can handle it. I've been really looking forward to the The Last Of Us series coming out so maybe I won't, actually.



"Teachers" - (1984)

Another '80s teen comedy, but this is more of a black comedy. Darker than most with teen pregnancy, thievery, bullies and other issues that still linger today.. Maybe that's why it isn't rated as high as other films of that era. I found it funny with some great dialog from a pretty solid cast.

7/10
I have to say, I thought the climactic scene of JoBeth Williams
WARNING: "majah sperlah" spoilers below
running topless through the halls
was kinda jarring, though it's been a while.



Ooops again



Damn it, I think you're right. The Last of Us was released in 2013 and the source novel for The Girl With All the Gifts published in 2014, but based itself on a 2013 short story by the same author : M. R. Carey. It means two works being produced at around the same time with remarkable similarities to each other. Interesting that his short story was titled Iphigenia in Aulis - that of a play written around around 405 BC, reminding me that no work is completely original - and to beware of the word 'ripoff'.

I didn't look hard enough, and thought they'd taken most of The Last of Us and rehashed it. Ignore that mini-review.
I'm not saying they did but take a look at my post above about the timing. The Last Of Us was in development years before the short-story was published and was already in film development with The Last Of Us Part II already being written, by the time Carey had fleshed his story out into an actual novel. FWIW.



I preferred Leviathan.
I'm strongly considering that one just to round that up. We'll see.
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Both re-watches. Excellent movies.
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Holy ****. I was interested in seeing this but that sounds like a direct rip-off of The Last Of Us and I don't know if I could get over that.
I can't say anything about the similarities between the two as I haven't played The Last of Us. But the original short story was published in a collection released September 4th, 2012 (according to Goodreads) meaning it was written at least (and most likely, over) a year before the game was released. It was nominated for an award in 2013 (not published as implied earlier in this thread).

In any case, the film is only OK-ish, and I much preferred the book. The film makes changes to the characters and their motivations that contradict the book (too long time gone to be more specific, but I'm sure I've written about this stuff earlier).
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