last movie you watched

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Re: last movie you watched

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Last night I saw the second of the Hunger Games movies, which is good, but not as good as the first movie.

But tonight I saw The Sorcerers, a 1967 movie by Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General) and starring Boris Karloff and Ian Ogilvy. Karloff is a hypnotist/scientist who comes up with a machine that makes people do his bidding. However when they try it out on Ogilvy, the ageing Karloff and his wife realise that they can experience anything that Ogilvy does. The wife lets this go to her head, and starts getting Ogilvy to do all kinds of things, from stealing a fur coat to speeding and, unsuprisingly, to murder. Karloff tries to stop her. I confess I liked this better the first time I saw it, which was a while ago now. The second time through allows you to see the flaws in both the film and the narrative itself. But Karloff is good, as Ogilvy is nice to look at.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Had a few movies DVR'd from TCM that I havent seen in years & finally got around to watching.

Dark Passage (1947)
I Want To Live (1958)

Both fantastic. Black & white classics with superb acting.

Then last week watched my blu-ray copy of the original The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. Enjoyable as always



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Re: last movie you watched

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Last week I watched a favourite of mine, “The Strawberry Blonde” (1941).

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Starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Jack Carson, George Tobias and Alan Hale Sr.

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Set in the 1890’s, rom-com before that abbreviation was invented, about two girls, two guys, dentistry, and how sometimes what we want isn’t always the best thing for us.

It’s broad, funny, well-acted, has a solid Warmer Brothers supporting cast and in this Warner Archive restoration - looks the best I’ve ever seen it.

Well- worth 90 mins of your time.

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Re: last movie you watched

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watched on monday evening two John Wayne and James Stewart western legends, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and The Shootist (1974). I'd say the latter was my pick as the best one of the two. It was one of Hollywood's greatest ever moments to get screen legends Wayne, Stewart and Lauren Bacall together in one film. And kudos to Ron Howard , Richard Boone and his cameo as the villain and Henry "Harry" Morgan, a veteran of the western genre.

Good review here:

https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2015/09/16/the-shootist-1976/



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Re: last movie you watched

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Re: last movie you watched

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Tonight I got to the end of the Hunger Games films. As I remembered from seeing them separately on release, the first one is great, the second one is not as good, and the third and fourth are an unmitigated mess. The third and fourth are based on one book, which is 464 pages. There was no need for it to be split in two. We're not talking of a doorstop of a book like the last Harry Potter. What's more, the first two Hunger Games books are actually LONGER than the final one. So, they come out at about 135 minutes each on screen. That last book is spread out over around 255 minutes. It's no wonder that it's a bore. It could, quite easily, have been a decent 150 minute film. And it seems a little harsh to say that there's 100 minutes of flab, but that is indeed the case.

I could add perhaps, that the idea of splitting a single film into two parts isn't something new. This was done on a semi-regular basis with prestigious films during the silent era, especially those from mainland Europe, such as The Indian Tomb and Die Nibelungen. I'm no fan of the latter film, but at least it doesn't seem so dragged out and pointless as Mockingjay does in the Hunger Games series.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Three films over the last three days.

First up was Danza Macabra, an Italian horror from 1964 in which a journalist is bet that he can't spend a night in a haunted castle. Barbara Steele is the main point of interest here, but it's a well made movie which certainly has its moments. Unfortunately, I struggle with these horror movies from mainland Europe as the cast consists of both English and non-English speakers, meaning that, no matter which language audio you have, there's also one half of the cast being dubbed.

Second up was The Mystery of Marie Roget, Universal's 1942 version of the Edgar Allan Poe story. Kind of. Not much of Poe is left on screen, and this is a rather pedestrian movie. It's one of the few Universal "horrors" of the period not to have appeared on blu ray, and the version I have is dubbed from an old VHS. It's OK as an hour-long filler, but not much beyond that.

Best of the three was The Long Arm, a British Ealing police drama starring Jack Hawkins as he tracks down a burglar who eventually turns to murder. This police procedural is really well made, and the black and white photography is very effective, as is the location shooting in London and beyond. It's showing on Film Four in the UK, and well worth catching.


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Re: last movie you watched

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I watched Mississippi Burning (1988) a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Last time i saw the movie was 2009!

I reckon the movie still holds up just as well today as it done nearly 40 years ago.

Gene Hackman and William Dafoe both were outstanding in their respective roles, i reckon.
And while the racially charged script is based on a true story, am not sure how real all of it is, not that it matters, as i found the film engrossing from start to finish.


Anyone here seen and either liked/dislike Mississippi Burning? Let us know on your thoughts.


Spoiler alert:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095647/plotsummary/



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Re: last movie you watched

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Walter Hale 4 wrote:I watched Mississippi Burning (1988) a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Last time i saw the movie was 2009!

I reckon the movie still holds up just as well today as it done nearly 40 years ago.

Gene Hackman and William Dafoe both were outstanding in their respective roles, i reckon.
And while the racially charged script is based on a true story, am not sure how real all of it is, not that it matters, as i found the film engrossing from start to finish.


Anyone here seen and either liked/dislike Mississippi Burning? Let us know on your thoughts.


Spoiler alert:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095647/plotsummary/
Great film.
Saw it in the theatre on its first run.
The films loosely based on the investigation.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Violent Naples 4/6
Fearless 3.5/6 (co stars Joan Collins)
From Corleone to Brooklyn (Van Johnson)

Just watched some italian cop films , not great films but not bad either

French Connection 5/6
FC II , 4.5/6 , Roy was busy filming a shark film , methinks ;)



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Re: last movie you watched

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Revisited some Jack blu -rays over the weekend

Prizzi's Honor - Cant believe how good Jack was in this. One of his underrated performances. Angelica Houston as well. A good drama comedy
Chinatown - What can you say? A classic

and surprise a DVD. Loving You! Honestly I couldnt get through it. Loved Elvis performing, but after Mean Woman Blues, I just skipped to the song scenes. The acting , the dialog, all below par.



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Re: last movie you watched

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Tonight I saw The Witch's Mirror, a 1962 Mexican horror that was reissued on blu ray in the UK today through Indicator. It's a busy film, that's for sure. There's a witch, a murder, some body snatching, a ghost, a bit of catalespy, and... Ok. That's enough for now. It borrows heavily from other films, including The Hands of Orlac and The Eyes without a Face. But it's good enough. A witch is the housekeeper at the house where her Godchild is married to a man keen to dispatch her. When he comes home with his new wife, the witch makes it for the ghost of the first wife to bring havoc. After that it's bonkers. Almost like a gothic soap opera in 75 minutes. The print is excellent.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Ok, so a bit of catch up...

I saw two short versions of The Fall of the House of Usher (1928 and 1942), both amateur and experimental. Neither really worth your time!

Then, I went on to Nightmare on Elm Street 5. I watched films 1-4 a couple of years back and then stopped, as I knew there was a sharp downhill curve in quality at that point. That said, watched out of sequence (and without the others to compare to) #5 is passable. It's not a good film, but it has its moments, even if it feels more like a TV movie than one made for cinema.

Count Dracula (1970) was released this week on blu ray in the UK. This Jess Franco film is most famous for sticking to the original novel far more than movie versions had previously. And it does. But making a good film out of that novel is particularly difficult because it's structure is made up of letters and diaries etc. That doesn't convert easily to film, hence why the 1920s play was the basis for the Lugosi and Hammer versions. Franco's film is fine, but it's nothing particularly special. The first half hour is best, but after that it all becomes disjointed.

Tonight I saw X The Unknown, a 1956 Hammer film that is a Quatermass movie in all but name. Hammer wanted to use Quatermass, but couldn't get permission to use the character and so invented their own Quatermass clone. Even so, this is an excellent movie and, as with so many 50s sci-fi movies, surprisingly intelligent.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Tonight I saw the last of the three Famous Five feature-length films that the BBC made last year. None of the three use plots from the books, but they somehow have the spirit of the Enid Blyton series, and a good sense of their 1940s period, although there is more diversity than in Blyton's books, and that's just fine. It doesn't feel shoe-horned in. This third film is the weakest of the three, sadly, but still good fun. Whether there will be any more is up for debate, and may well depend on the US reaction when they appear on Hulu on May 31st. The most bizarre part of them is the director (Nicholas Winding Refn), best known for the Pusher trilogy of films, as well as Bronson, Drive, and Only God Forgives. But there's something to be said for versatility!


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Re: last movie you watched

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I had the pleasure tonight of watching the Warner Archive blu ray of The Life of Emile Zola, a 1937 biopic starring Paul Muni. I know that it is fictionalised, just as most biopics of the era were, but it really is a wonderful film, and thoroughly deserving of being the first film to garner Oscar nominations in the double digits, winning three of them - best picture, best supporting actor, and best screenplay. Muni was robbed of the best actor gong, too. Spencer Tracy is good in Captains Courageous, but not this good. It's a film of two distinct halves. The first half is a drama dealing with Zola's rise to fame and how his writing reflected the injustices of France. The second half is basically a courtroom drama about the Dreyfus Affair, where Zola accused the Army of a cover-up (and much more). Reading up a little bit after watching the film, it appears that it was disovered in the 1950s that Zola was probably murdered rather than dying by accident by carbon monoxide poisoning. Various reviews accuse the film of not mentioning that the Dreyfus arrest and conviction was motivated by anti-semitism. That's not actually true. While it doesn't discuss it at length, it's shown on screen very clearly at a time when Hollywood was avoiding the subject matter.

Also very good (but not as good as The Life of Emile Zola) is The Chocolate War, which I saw last night. I last saw this on VHS, so it's been a while. Adapted from the infamous and controversial teen novel of the same name by Robert Cormier (a novel that has a habit of getting banned in US schools recently), this is a bleak teen movie about conformity and abuse of power in a strict Catholic school. Ilan Mitchell-Smith is excellent in the lead role of a student who refuses to sell boxes of chocolates to aid school funds, giving an understated performance that demonstrates that his decision to leave acting shortly after was something of a loss. Chocolate War was filmed on a low budget, and sometimes it shows, but the low budget meant that this didn't have to be a traditional teen movie - in fact, I wonder if it was aimed at teens at all. The lack of financial risk allowed it to lean towards the absurd from time to time, which a major studio production would probably have never allowed. The climactic sequence is ill-judged, sadly, and brings the film to a too-neat ending. Well worth a watch, though, but don't expect a barrel of laughs.


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Tonight's film was The Devil Doll, a 1936 "horror" film starring Lionel Barrymore and directed by Tod Browning. It's not a film I've seen before, and it's VERY weird. The storyline centres on Barrymore, an escaped (innocent) convict who starts getting his revenge on the men who really committed the crime by turning them into 3 inch high dolls who do his bidding. And, odd though it seems to say it, that's NOT the thing that makes the film weird. The weirdness comes from the tone of the film, which takes itself very seriously, despite the overall premise and the fact that Barrymore spends most of the film. At the very least, one would think this was a horror comedy, but it's really not, and the final fifteen minutes or so turns rather maudlin, with shades of The Way of All Flesh. We should, perhaps, have been expecting the oddness of it, given that the film is helmed by Tod Browning, the man who gave us Freaks in 1931 and a silent horror in which a man has his arms amputated because the woman he loves has a fear of men's hands(!), but the Devil Doll is all over the place. That said, it's an entertaining movie, and I probably enjoyed it less than most, as IMDB's score is 7.0. Tod Browning would only make one more movie, Miracles for Sale, after which he was forced into retirement, partly due to his alcoholism and partly because his brand of "weird" horror was out of fashion. The Warner Archive blu ray of Devil Doll is, as always, excellent.


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Re: last movie you watched

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i watched on tuesday evening The Way Ahead (1944) - a British Second World War drama/adventure film.

The movie stars David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald and William Hartnell among many others, and was directed by Carol Reed.

Anyone here seen this movie and either like or disliked THE WAY AHEAD...

spoiiler alert...

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037449/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm





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Re: last movie you watched

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Tonight I saw the 1955 film version of The Quatermass Experiment - which I got completely confused with another film, and so was rather surprised when I watched it and realised that I hadn't actually seen it before. It's a good film, but not a great one (although it's important within the history of British horror and sci-fi). But I think this is one of those rare moments where the sequel (Quatermass 2) is better than the original. The Kino blu ray is good, but there is some damage at various points, but that's pretty normal for Kino who seem more interested in getting films out there rather than waiting for a perfect copy to come along. And I think that's a perfectly sensible viewpoint given the niche audience they are often aiming for.


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Tonight's film was the first in The Whistler series of B-movies from the 1940s. Indicator in the UK have just released a boxed set of the eight films, and so I tracked down a copy of the first movie to see whether I fancied making the investment. The Whistler is a weird series of movies for the period, with the same actor (Richard Dix) in the lead role each time, but playing a different part in each film. This makes it similar in style to the Inner Sanctum series where Lon Chaney Jr also starred in different roles in each unrelated movie. The first in The Whistler series sees a depressed Dix hiring a hit man to kill him following the death of his wife...only to find out after that she is alive. The movie then sees him trying to avoid the hit man and call off the arrangment. It's not all that original, and the film is surprisingly dark, but Dix is not particularly convincing (for me, he rarely was). But it's a decent way to spend an hour. Is it good enough to make me want to buy the boxed set? Not at full price, although I might be tempted if it comes down in price.


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last movie you watched

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As the summer movie season progresses, I wanted to mention the films I have seen so far at the cinema. In the past few years, I haven’t had the opportunity to go very often, but employment now affords me that opportunity to go with friends and family.

In the past six or seven weeks I have seen -

Civil War
Kingdom of the planet of the apes
Godzilla X Kong
The fall guy
Furiosa

And upcoming films, I hope to catch -
The bike riders
Horizon parts one and two
Twisters

I missed Ghostbusters -frozen empire but I’ll catch that at home.

Civil War -
Excellent, thought-provoking film. Solid performances all around, but especially Jesse Plemons’s brief appearance.
The $50 million budget, the largest for an independent film, shows on the screen. This isn’t a large scale action film, but a character study. It doesn’t take one side or the other of current American politics, but it does make you think. The oft-repeated saying, “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it“ applies here. it will disturb you. Don’t miss it.

Kingdom of the planet of the apes -
I have been so impressed with the modern retelling of this franchise. I find it hard to fault any of the first films. Rise, Dawn, and War were all strong films. Kingdom lives up to these and it is a welcome addition.
The special effects are fantastic, CGI is seamless. In the future when actors are recognized for performance capture these films will be seen as groundbreaking. I urge those on the fence about seeing any of these to dive in and start with Rise of the planet of the apes and follow them in order with Dawn, War and this film, kingdom.

Godzilla x Kong -
This is the weakest in the Legendary series of Godzilla/Kong films of the last decade. Godzilla(2014) and Kong skull Island (2017) we well-made, fun, monster films. These films had great action sequences and equal parts human story. The last three - Godzilla: King of the monsters, Godzilla vs Kong and now Godzilla x Kong all share my main criticism of any superhero or monster film - the CGI and monster sequences become highly repetitive, go on too long leaving little time for the human story. That is woefully apparent in this film, which must have the fewest dialogue scenes in the series. This film has done well worldwide which means they’ll be another, but I am growing tired of it all.
But, on the bright side, I am really looking forward to seeing Godzilla minus one.

The fall guy -
This is a wonderful cinematic movie experience. Blunt and Gosling have real chemistry. The rest of the cast is very good and the Stunt sequences are spectacular. It has mystery, thrills romance, comedy- everything a summer blockbuster needs. It’s a fun movie, a damn good time at the theater. Even though its premise is based on an old TV show, it is original filmmaking. It’s a shame it’s a financial flop at the box office - people are really missing out.

Furiosa
This is spectacular filmmaking. The desert hasn’t looked this fantastic on film since Lawrence of Arabia. Direction, Cinematography, editing, and especially sound mix are a filmmaking achievement.

I always find the Mad Max films hard to describe to somebody. It doesn’t seem enough to say it’s set in the post apocalyptic future where roving gangs roam the Australian outback and indiscriminately kill over food, water, oil and gas.

The vehicle designs are imaginative mashups of multiple cars. The villain rides around in a chariot, not pulled by horses, but by three motorcycles.

This is a revenge film about a young girl that is kidnapped from her home, loses her family and must survive amongst the crazed dictators of the Wasteland. Chris Hemsworth is outstanding as the lead villain that Furiosa seeks revenge against. Anya Taylor-Joy as the adult Furiosa is very good. She possesses an expressive face and is able to convey so much with her eyes and body movement. Alyla Browne as the young Furiosa is excellent. This is a must see in the cinema seeing it at home will diminish your enjoyment of the film.

Go to the Cinema, have a great time at the movies!


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Re: last movie you watched

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No cinema trips for me at the moment, sadly. Great to see positive reviews, though!

Tonight I was back in the 1950s with Cast a dark Shadow, one of Dirk Bogarde's finest performances of the decade in which he became a star. Never afraid of playing against his matinee idol status, here he plays a fortune hunter murdering his older wives for their money. He really is excellent here (as is Margaret Lockwood), slowly become more and more unhinged as the film plays out. It's well-written by Janet Green, who also wrote the screenplay or source texts for Midnight Lace, Victim, Sapphire, and The Long Arm (which I discussed a week or two back). The direction is superb, too, by Lewis Gilbert, best known for a couple of Bond films and Educating Rita. The film never quite discards its theatrical origins, but that also makes it somewhat claustrophobic, too. Both Bogarde and Lockwood are superb, although the film performed badly and Lockwood didn't make another film for a couple of decades. It appears to have been re-evaluated recently, and now seen as a very fine British movie of the period. Even Bogarde himself praised the film in his autobiography, and he was often his own harshest critic. The film is available in HD as part of the Amazon Prime subscription.


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Re: last movie you watched

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Rewatching a classic, this time on VHS.. the fantastic "Crocodile Dundee"
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Two short(ish) controversial gay-themed films tonight.

The first is the rarely seen Dutch movie Trage Liefde - so rarely seen that no-one has written a view on IMDB. Made in 2007, this 50 minute movie is surprisingly absorbing, even if reaches a key scene which is, to say the least, a difficult one to watch. A young man is still mourning the death of his mother, and finds out from his grandmother who his absent father is. The jazz-obsessed father owns a bar, which the young man starts to visit, with the father not aware of who the son is - he seemingly doesn't even know he exists. Let's just say that the father and son get very friendly at one point - very little is off the cards with Dutch cinema. Despite the controversial subject matter (and that one scene), there is much to praise here, not lease the excellent performances.

The second movie tonight was the 25-minute 1950 silent movie Un Chant D'Amour, which is Jean Genet's only attempt at directing. This underground movie was also controversial back in the day, although the artistic representation of sex and nudity seems rather tame today. I was going to call it experimental, but that's not really true, but it is very much in the arthouse style. Two prisoners in adjoining cells find ways to "enjoy each other's company" without actually meeting. The Americans thought it was horrendous porn; the British Film Institute saw it as enough of a classic to release it on DVD, together with a specially-composer soundtrack (which is excellent, I might add). I first saw it as part of a university module, and enjoyed it just as much this evening. It's beautifully put together, and it's just a shame that Genet didn't direct again.


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Two films again tonight.

Firstly, I made it to the fifth entry in the Child's Play franchise. Seed of Chucky from 2004 is probably the worst film I have seen this year. It is an appalling entry in the series, neither funny or horrific, just crap. It doesn't make much sense for much of it, the actors are wasted, the script is banal, and the direction looks like it's for a cheap music video.

Following that, I rather fell into watching Stage Mother, which I recorded off Channel 4 a couple of nights back - they are showing late night/early morning LGBTQ films for pride month. I only intended to watch the opening to see if I wanted to keep it on the recorder, but the next thing I knew, I was halfway through. Made in 2020, this is movie about a conservative woman from Texas whose ostracised son dies and leaves her a drag club. Is it a good film? It's fine, actually. It goes to all the places you expect it to - she gets to know more about her son now he's dead than when he was alive, she slowly finds herself enjoying the company of the drag queens, her husband demands that she comes home and sell the business etc. It wears its heart on its sleeve, and sometimes it just tries too hard to win over the viewer, but its heart is in the right place, and I have seen far worse films than this.


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Last night I watched Seed of Chucky from 2004, and, after that Godawful film, the series took a hiatus for some nine years. Curse of Chucky, which I saw tonight, turned up in 2013, released as a straight to video movie. I'm watching these in order, and for the first time, but it's fair to say that this is the best sequel I have seen so far. The ridiculous comedy of the previous film is (almost) completely eschewed in favour of a dark gothic thriller, that is part Child's Play, part Cat and the Canary, and part The Spiral Staircase. A Good Guy doll arrives at the home of Sarah Pierce and her disabled daughter, Nica. Sarah is quickly dispatched, and then the rest of the family arrives, arguing with each other, and trying to get control of the estate. Most of the film is set in that one house, making for a claustrophic movie, something which is added to by Nica being in a wheelchair. The gothic house is very much straight out of a 1940s horror movie, and the movie plays it very dark and very straight for most of the running time. It is only after the climax of the main narrative thread that the movie lurches more towards the comedic trend of the previous two films with a brief cameo from Jennifer Tilly. In many respects, this is a shame as it breaks the spell of what has come before. Even so, this is really good entertainment, and, if you are aware of the basics of the first movie, can be watched without having seen the other movies.


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