Category Archives: Movie score 9.5

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

James and I decided yesterday we wanted to watch a Star Wars film with his first choice being Episode 7, which I don’t have, so his second choice was Episode 5. This is now the fifth review for this film on MBMS, but I have also seen it several times before as well.

There is no real need to review this, and I would say this is my fave Star Wars film of all of them, although Episode 7 follows in a close second.

It is not a perfect film, there are a few head-scratching scenes which Georgie could have handled better, but compared to Episodes 1, 2, and 3 they are nothing to worry about. Luke’s whining and impetuousness still grates.

Here is a video of some cut scenes. The video starts at a scene that was thankfully cut out, Georgie had a bit more control over himself back then…

Today James and I are going to watch Episode 7 if we can get TV time, I got it out on DVD last night.

Date watched: October 21st
Score: 9.5/10 (previously 10, but those minor niggles got the better of me)
Film count 2017: 118

Blue Ruin

This is on Netflix, in the “Cannes Winners” category, so I thought it was worth a watch. And reading up about this on the interwebs I found that it was partly funded through Kickstarter.

In the main role was a chap named Macon Blair who also produced the film, and it was directed and written by Jeremy Saulnier. Both of them had been making films since they were kids. Macon was brilliant as a meek but revenge-thirsty homeless dude, out to avenge the deaths of his parents. The story is quite simple and slow at first, with the back story slowly revealed until the climax where things pick up, along with a few small twists.

Eve Plumb who was one of the Brady Bunch kids turns up near the end, playing a rather nasty family member of the killer’s violent family.

Brilliant stuff, and for a budget of only US$420,000 it is even more impressive. The cinematography was excellent, and it had a good soundtrack too.

Date watched: July 28th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 83

The poster likens it to a Coen Brother’s film, which I think is a fair comparison.

A Fistful of Dynamite (aka Duck, You Sucker)

I have seen this before, at least twice I think (there is one review for it on this site), but I felt like watching it again because it is good fun.

Here is my review from my previous post:

I was so happy to find this one at the DVD rental place, I remember watching it a long time ago and thought it was great. Second time around it was just as good, maybe better because I had forgotten most of it.

It’s pretty hard to choose any one Sergio Leone movie as the best but this one is definitely right up there. Great acting, comedy, action, direction and story.

Same goes for this time around, although I forgot to mention the brillo soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Rod Steiger was the star of this, absolutely bonkers brilliant, overshadowing James Coburn who was brillo too.

I rented this on DVD from what is most likely the best place on Earth for film rentals, “Alice In Videoland“. They are so great that they even have stuff on VHS, and a mini theatre showing only the best films.

Date watched: March 16th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 48

Goodnight Mommy

I do like a good horror, and this one is a corker. I did watch some of this through splayed fingers it was that good, made in Austria it’s about twin boys and their mother, don’t want to give it away so will just leave the plot at that. Starts off pretty creepy and continues that way throughout while slowly racketing up the sense of foreboding and dread.

Has some very snazzy camera work and framing, making excellent work of props and camera angles. But not too flashy.

Top stuff. Bit of a naff title but probably does not sound naff in Austrian.

Date watched: February 10th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 16

La Haine

I started watching this less than two hours before the midnight expiration on Mubi.

The story is about three French youths living in a housing project in the suburbs of Paris. It is set over a 19 hour period as the three walk around the city, one with a police pistol that the policeman lost during riots, looking for trouble, philosophising about life, and having run-ins with the police. Many of the situations in the story were based on real events that were happening at the time (1995), such as police brutality and the riots in the city.

The story is very simple actually, but it is the dialogue, cinematography, and excellent acting which make this film worth watching.

Vincent Cassel plays the angriest of the three, he wants to get revenge on the police for the shooting of one of their friends, with his two friends constantly trying to talk him out of it.

The black and white photography in this is great too (it was shot in colour, but the director changed in to B&W in post production), and there is some great camera work, especially this scene.

The locations used were pretty depressing looking places, not what we normally see in a film shot in Paris, and look just like the housing projects in England or America. From what I have read about them not much has changed about them since 1995.

This site is a good read about the photography and story.

Another excellent film on Mubi, which I will continue to use after my one month free trial.

Date watched: February 6th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 31


Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Yesterday I signed up for a one month free trial on Mubi. I was a member back in 2013 for a few months, but it has changed since then. Now, there are only 30 films to choose from, and each day one is added, while another is taken off. So, I chose this 2014 film because it was about to expire.

It is the story of a lonely, and quite troubled office worker in Tokyo who finds a VHS copy of “Fargo” in a cave at the seaside. She watches it and becomes convinced it is a documentary, and that she can find the suitcase full of money that Steve Buscemi’s character had hidden in the snow. So, off she goes to Minnesota to find the treasure.

The story is actually based on a true story of a woman named Takako Konishi who died in 2001 in Minnesota. She was mistakenly thought to be searching for the Fargo suitcase, but actually committed suicide for other reasons.

What makes this a great film to watch is the acting by Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim), the fantastic photography, and the excellent music by a band called The Octopus Project. The music was at times very eerie, and sometimes bordered on horror. When it played you were expecting some chainsaw-wielding maniac to jump out and start butchering… never happened though.

The films director and writer also played a policeman who tried to help the girl, he was great.

This film would probably put a lot of people to sleep as it moves slowly and there is no action, or psycho maniacs. But, the aforementioned acting, photography, and music make this a very worthy watch. I found it all quite riveting.

“La Haine” is the next film to expire on Mubi, so I will try to watch that tonight.

Date watched: February 5th
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 30

One of the best shots in the film is the one they used in the poster… quite stunning on film.


Cop Car

This is another DVD I chose without knowing what it was about, but again it turned out to be gold.

The story was very simple: two boys running away from home come across a cop car in the middle of nowhere (this was filmed in Colorado) and go for a joyride. Meanwhile, Sheriff Kevin Bacon was not far away hiding the body of someone he murdered. He goes back to where his car was and upon finding it gone sets about getting it back. There is one more part to the storyline, but I don’t want to ruin the best part.

Despite being such a simple plot the film moved along well, mostly because of the great acting by the two boys (both about 12 years old at the time), Kevin Bacon as the creepy and dangerous sheriff, and the great photography and locations. The script was also well done.

It is violent in places, and seeing the two boys play around with the guns made me cringe a little.

Hopefully the third film of the year can be as good as the first two.

Date watched: January 2nd
Score: 9.5/10
Film count 2017: 2


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