The Near East

The Near East

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The Near East torrent reviews

Ted A (nl) wrote: Acting is kinda alright. Story line is a bit out in left field. Only good thing, is the pilot of the C-5.

Tim S (nl) wrote: Amazon Women on the Moon is another wacky lampoon movie from contributors such as Joe Dante and John Landis (who previously directed the superior Kentucky Fried Movie). It's a movie that throws basically everything into a hat: fake commercials, skits, movie parodies, fake bumpers, etc. To be honest, I didn't laugh a whole lot while watching the movie, but I did smile a lot at many things. It's certainly not one of the best screwball comedies out there, but it's not altogether bad either. It's a shame that these types of movies aren't being made anymore. They're fun, inventive, and have a lot of value to them. This actually feels a lot older than it is, perhaps because it's meant to lampoon a simpler time when flipping through a few channels only was as good as it got as far as TV went. You'll see a whole host of different celebrities and actors pop up in this movie too. It's a fun movie, but not an overtly funny one.

Grant X (au) wrote: The goings-on in a shared house full of 20-somethings in the late 70s. Very well made and well acted Australian movie featuring the late Michael Hutchence in the lead role.

Jon W (br) wrote: You might remember this one from the early 80s playing a bunch on HBO. A love letter to b movies of all types by SNL and SCTV alums. Breaks down the genre into sub-genres like Brains, Gorillas and Aliens. Also features a loving tribute to the King of B Movies, Ed Wood well before Tim Burton's film. Each sub-genre is covered by a different comedian, like Cheech and Chong covering giant and tiny people movies and Gilda Radner covering gorilla movies. Has tons of clips of obscure and funny films ranging from the 50s to the 70s. This is the biggest reason this has not yet had a DVD release: the rights nightmare movies like this create. Also a kind of precursor to Mystery Science Theater 3000, taking a bad movie and making a joke about it's ineptness. I have asked the folks from MST3K , on several occasions, and they claim that this was not a direct influence on the show, but they enjoyed this once they saw it. They are nice folk and I believe them. If you like MST3K and or bad movies, this is one to seek out. I say seek out because it is not yet available on DVD (rights issues) and might never be. VHS copies were released and you can find them occasionally on eBay. I got one several years ago and don't regret it at all, even if it was a bit pricey.

RC K (ru) wrote: Defiance of expectation. I'd say that's the basis of appreciation of a piece of art, but there's too much to be found in satisfaction of expectation. Still, it's the basis for a kind of appreciation, naturally the more surprising variety, or at least unexpected. All of us go in to movies or music with the expectation that some element tells us exactly what we should expect, or at least gives us a vague idea. Some of us use a knowledge base that informs us based on a director, producer or other behind-the-scenes element. Some go from trailers, actors, themes, hunches from general experience of movie going, history, descriptions from others, comparisons made and any number of other sources. Sometimes it's bang-on reliable--few of us who know the name "Michael Bay" are ever surprised by a film that comes out with his name attached as director. Sometimes this is a pleasing comfort, sometimes a stimulus to avoid the end product like nothing else. I have a general wariness of French directors with reputations and Criterion releases. I've yet to see any Godard or Truffaut, for instance. This brings us to Louis Malle, who...quite honestly I had completely misplaced, in terms of his filmography.Atlantic City is one of Malle's films made after a move to the United States. Lou (Burt Lancaster) is a washed up old hood in that famed New Jersey gambling town, acting as servant to a woman with more money than he, Grace (Kate Reid), who met Lou and his pal "Cookie" Pinza in the city years ago. That marriage and her subsequent entry into a beauty contest have left her with the feeling that she is, or should be, a pampered princess. Across the way from Lou is Sally (Susan Sarandon), from Saskatchewan, who is attempting to work her way up to a casino dealer. Unfortunately for the both of them--or fortunately, for Lou, who harbors a voyeuristic yearning for Sally--her estranged husband, Dave (Robert Joy) and the woman he ran off with, Chrissie (Hollis McClaren), appear in Atlantic City carrying a stolen pound of cocaine and seeking help from Sally.I realized in looking through Malle's work that I had no idea what his filmography consisted of. This is ridiculous for a number of reasons, and interesting for a handful more. First, my aversion to French filmmakers stems from an Italian filmmaker. This isn't due to any confusion between the countries or in which names come from which country or anything more than a mental association that developed behind the scenes. Fellini's Satyricon is one of a handful of films I simply could not tolerate. Finding that Pauline Kael hated it makes me feel a little bit better but does not really resolve my embarrassment over the nonsensical associations I made. It's not totally out of bounds--the logic went: Fellini was an arthouse director, a renowned one in circles that appreciate such films; Satyricon is a well-liked work of his; Fellini is associated with Italian Neorealism; Italian Neorealism is seen as part of the impetus behind the French New Wave; Malle is associated with the French New Wave, having made films in the same time frame and using some elements from it. This isn't really an excuse, just symbolic of the mess of my understanding of arthouse film in the 60s and 70s.* Sorting this out has led me toward Malle's other films, a number of which I would really like to see, as well as one that may finally provide the key to a question amongst friends: Jeremy Irons seems to be pretty awesome, but what on earth ever told us this? His filmography is beyond checkered and is not like that of some other respectable actors where it was solid until a certain point.But I digress. Severely.There was a point to that digression, though. The point is this: I expected to have a strangely half-intolerably slow or ponderous, possibly very internal or overly symbolic film filtered through well-known American actors, or techniques from such films shoehorned in to a more "normal" one, or some combination thereof. Instead, I got the elements of La Nouvelle Vague in an otherwise recognizable film. At least, my understanding of them. It was a pleasant surprise in this respect.I am familiar with Burt Lancaster as a square-jawed man's man-type actor, but have seen him in nothing but The Professionals up to this point. His performance is fantastic, sliding into the necessary roles for any given emotional motivation in Lou's character throughout. He shifts whenever he enters Grace's presence, whatever that presence means to him at that time, and when he sees the chance to win over the woman he desires, he transforms, but believably, into a slick and suave man of culture--or at least the kind with money and influence. It feels like a perfect revival of the young Lou that we never actually get a chance to see. A guy who uses money or knows how to use it, saw it used, to achieve goals without necessarily holding the culture that he conveys. When he finally achieves almost everything he can think of, the chance to prove he finally "made it" to all his old friends--he falls into a laughable-in-a-saw-way braggart. It's not obnoxious so much as sad, we can see that this is what he wanted to be for all his life, and no one else particularly cares, but he acts as though they not only should, but do.Sally is caught up in him and between her past with Dave and his current state. Make no mistake: Dave is, to quote Sally herself, "a shit." There's no real way around it. He uses everyone around him, and manipulates everything he can find, but is also too stupid to realize that his skills are imperfect and do not work on everyone. For Sally, though, it's bouncing between the well-intentioned manipulator and the utterly selfish one, slowly tearing down the miserable existence she has set out for herself, which is not much to be proud of, but is still something compared to what it could be, and moving along the road to what she does want for herself.What's fascinating about the film and instantly noticeable as peculiar when compared to the average American-made movie is the slim, trim soundtrack. There's music, to be sure, but most of the film carries those traditions of the aforementioned schools of film-making: very little music except where legitimately present in a scene, and lots of natural light and sound. The absence of music never feels empty or claustrophobic, it just conveys a solid reality to all the scenes, helped along by a muddled set of characters who do not all seem to be pushing a pre-determined plot toward a pre-determined outcome.I've mentioned before the tendency of people to decry sports films as having obvious endings--but they simply are binary. The team/athelete wins, or loses, most likely. And here, as with most films, we have the major options of primarily happy or primarily sad ending. Which of these it is does not matter so much as the believability of reaching it, whether the steps and the characters seem to deserve this ending--not morally, but in reflection of the actions they take on their journey toward it; does the work put in by these characters justify their reward, punishment, or normalized and continued existence?This time, it most certainly does. It's a good ending, happy or otherwise--and I think those descriptions would be imperfect and debated anyway.*I am also well aware that many of those leaps actually do not follow. Satyricon is hardly indicative of Italian neorealism, after all.

Darrin C (jp) wrote: Definitely not the Marx Bros best work, but notable for their last film together. Harpo has a larger role and things were funnier after Groucho finally makes more appearances toward the end.

Richard M (au) wrote: A thoroughly enjoyable film, given the limitations of its time (production began just before Pearl Harbor). While not as polished as his later works, the film features some wonderful characters and tense moments.

Nathan S (de) wrote: The cinematography is very well done. If the world it created was relatable this film would be excellent. However, everything feels distant and the characters unreal.

Scott R (ag) wrote: Not something to write home about, but fun the first time.

Cody B (kr) wrote: Fascinating look at the people working on and driving the LHC. Really cool to see people excited about physics. I saw this when it came out at The Charles in Baltimore, and a guy behind us talked all through the entire movie. IN THE CHARLES OF ALL PLACES!

Robert I (ca) wrote: Historical accuracy be damned! This movie is all about style over substance of badass Viking vs. Native American action. That's all there is.

Andrew M (kr) wrote: Tangled is magical and sweet. Disney has done it again. This movie and plot is great. I would suggest this movie.

Will L (au) wrote: Some of Vincent Price's best roles are those in which he parodies himself, such as he does in this film. (also 'Madhouse' and 'House of the Long Shadows')