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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I thought The Searchers to be a great movie. I doubt I would put it in my top 25 if I had such a list, but I think of it as a very effective story with characters that are exaggerated, but still believable .


Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
A random best picture nod from 1951, King Solomon's Mines called to me after our discussion on the favorite adventure movies thread. It is somewhat guilty of "Hey look: a lion! Hey look: a cobra!" and that got a bit tiresome, particularly since I've spent a fair bit of time in sub-Saharan Africa, but Stewart Grander (who I didn't know at all) is good as the great white hunter and Deborah Kerr is a good foil and I had a good time watching it.


ha, I just saw my first Stewart Granger(his real name was James Stewart) film last night, "The Last Hunt." And it reminded me of The Searchers as well. And Anthony Mann's westerns. Unfortunately its not available on dvd. here's a trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo-LaATU9AU

Was reading about Stewart Granger on wiki, he was sort of the Errol Flynn of the 50s. Heard good things about his 1952 adventure/swashbuckler "Scaramouche," which apparently has one of the longest on screen duels in film history.

Also read that Granger put out an autobiography when he was 70 saying he had an affair with Kerr when he was married. She said, "He should only be that lucky." They made 3 films together.


Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sanshiro Sugata was Kurosawa's first directoral effort, was made during World War II, had seventeen minutes cut out of it by wartime censors, and is still pretty good, and gets better as it gets along. It's about the conflict between proponents of jujitsu and judo in the 1880s. Judo was developed from jujitsu by Kano Jigoro, and was resented by jujitsu practitioners as a heresy. Sanshiro Sugata wants to learn jujitsu, but when he sees Shogoro Yano (I believe a fictional Kano Jigoro) defeat an entire school of jujists students, he switches allegiances. Sanshiro learns quickly, and is pig-headed and very good. In the last half he has three major matches, the best of which is the second with Hansuke Murai (Takashi Shimura in the first of his many Kurosawa films, and he's already really good), which is complicated because Sanshiro was earlier captivated by Murai's daughter without either knowing who the other was. The last fight takes place on a hillside with tall grass and a strong wind which is evocative and pretty strange. (6.5 of 10)

There's a part II which is considered more of a propaganda film, which this one is not, although it had to be approved by censors.

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Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
King Solomon's Mines (1950) ***

A random best picture nod from 1951, King Solomon's Mines called to me after our discussion on the favorite adventure movies thread. It is somewhat guilty of "Hey look: a lion! Hey look: a cobra!" and that got a bit tiresome, particularly since I've spent a fair bit of time in sub-Saharan Africa, but Stewart Grander (who I didn't know at all) is good as the great white hunter and Deborah Kerr is a good foil and I had a good time watching it.


I love that movie. It's a great old school adventure yarn. Still, I'm surprised it was nominated for a Best Picture Award. I knew it won an Oscar for Best Cinematography, which is probably the result of the relatively uncommon on location shooting in Africa. Apparently, a lot of footage has been reused in other movies.

Stewart Granger had a decent career in European swashbucklers and Westerns in the 60ies.


Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
There are many things you can say about the movie. But it ain't formulaic.


The second half felt mostly formulaic to me.


I mean, I guess the

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Getting someone to talk to you and then revealing that you're mic-ed up!


is been-there done-that, and in fact one of my least favorite cinematic endings. But Jesus Christ man

[Reveal] Spoiler:
It ends with Jude Law making Rooney Mara his slave and sending her to an insane asylum


I think we could say that...bucks formula a tad?


Well, I'll give you that. But...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
the lead finishing with the upper-hand and reuniting with his wife and family, while the "bad guy" ends up in jail or in an asylum, isn't new.

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Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:28 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset

A first rewatch for both, in anticipation for the third one. While Before Sunset still holds up as ever and remains among my top 10, what strikes me this time around is how Before Sunrise, an already favorite film in its own on the first watch, rises up in my feeling. It benefits greatly from the knowledge of what is to come down the road, both with Before Sunset and the general premise that I have known of Before Midnight. Some conversations, especially on fates and love, have echoes and extra meaning from that, which makes the ending of the film this time around even more bittersweet. As for Before Sunset, it might lose a bit of that propelling momentum on the first watch that comes from not knowing how the story will go forward, but the actors' nuances become more apparent. Their desperation in both the hurried speech and the subtle ways their faces reveal underneath feeling is gripping. And the sequence from the car scene until the end is still a knockout, so raw and real it's hard to believe that some of the acting are not autobigraphical in some way, especially on Hawke's part (what with his situations at the time of filming).

Stoker

Shot up ahead of Star Trek 2 and Side Effects to be the best 2013 film I have seen yet (not that I saw many). My reaction to it reminds me of a lite A Tale of Two Sisters. This has a bit less substance, but the style oozed so much menace and dreaminess that I was involved from the get-go, and the style was justfied for the story too. The way the movie teases out its story, bit by bit, until the appropriate moments of violence or revelation is really great stuff. And every performance matches it without a misstep, with the standout being Matthew Goode as "Uncle Charlie". His boyish good looks and staring eyes are both repulsive and appealing, often in the same scene. Just a brilliantly creepy performance for a brilliantly twisted film. Can't wait to see it again. 9/10

Jack Reacher

A disappointment considering the director/screenwriter. I have never read any of the books, but I got a vague feeling of an adaptation being too literal, what with a pretty simple, straightforwards plot (which is good) saved for a few twists being stretched over two hours. And with those two hours I still don't have a good feel for the characters at all. Some of Reacher's moments come across as unintentionally funny, especially when he said something vaguely threatening/cool and there was dead air afterwards; some moments I feel would work better if he's a big, thick guy like many people who have read the books described (women's swooning over him and bad guys' gingerly approach to him, for example). Still, what works really works. The opening scene is top-notch: horrifying and gripping. The action scenes are really good, from the brutal fights to involving car chases. I also love the bathroom scene with the inept goons (wish the rest of the film would have this kind of humour more). And Werner Herzog is great as the villain, although criminally underused. 6/10


Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Way Way Back

I didn't like this as much as JB, but this light tale about a kid's coming of age during the summer has some good things about it. It features a lot of really good acting, even if some of the characters are thinly drawn. The romantic aspects of the film are a little awkward, and ultimately this feels like a little bit of "been there, done that." But there's worse films playing right now; this one is an OK diversion.

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Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
Well, I'll give you that. But...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
the lead finishing with the upper-hand and reuniting with his wife and family, while the "bad guy" ends up in jail or in an asylum, isn't new.


Oh come on, man! That's like saying that Eternal Sunshine is formulaic because boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS, MY LARCENOUS FRIEND!

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Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Well, I'll give you that. But...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
the lead finishing with the upper-hand and reuniting with his wife and family, while the "bad guy" ends up in jail or in an asylum, isn't new.


Oh come on, man! That's like saying that Eternal Sunshine is formulaic because boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS, MY LARCENOUS FRIEND!


:D I knew you would say something like that. But I don't know how to explain it. During the second half, it didn't feel as fresh.

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Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:37 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Well, I'll give you that. But...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
the lead finishing with the upper-hand and reuniting with his wife and family, while the "bad guy" ends up in jail or in an asylum, isn't new.


Oh come on, man! That's like saying that Eternal Sunshine is formulaic because boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS, MY LARCENOUS FRIEND!


:D I knew you would say something like that. But I don't know how to explain it. During the second half, it didn't feel as fresh.

Another user on here mentioned how similar Side Effects was to the 1992 film Final Analysis, personally I find the twists predictable and the acting uninspired at best.


Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:16 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Morning Glory (2010)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1126618/
Rachel McAdams (who imo here both strikingly looks and channels a young Jennifer Garner (who could have done this role in her sleep)) is the new producer hired by Jeff Goldblum to turn around a flagging breakfast television show. Harrison Ford plays the old grumpy news veteran who she employs to boost ratings with the current long-time anchor Diane Keaton. This film tries so very hard to be The Devil Wears Prada, but never gets there - despite a ridiculously (albeit unrealistic) bubbly vivacious performance from McAdams. It's supposed to be a feel good movie but I felt strangely irritated most of the time, with no character I could remotely connect with let alone care about. Take it or leave it.
5/10.


Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Any Day Now A touching film about a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) in the late 70's that find themselves in charge of a 14-year old kid with Down Syndrome. Their love for the child leads them on a court battle for the custody of the child, whose drug-addicted mother is in jail. But being the 70's, they face the challenge of discrimination. Supposedly based on real events. Pretty well acted, and very moving. Grade: B+

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Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:40 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Turin Horse

I try to avoid movies I think I'll hate. But every now and then I luck into one. The Turin Horse is such an example. This is a 2 1/2 hour film in which nothing happens. Literally. We're treated to the sight of two people as they go about their days: They take the horse out of the barn. They put the horse back in the barn. They dress. They undress. They eat potatoes. They light fires. They get water from the well.

All of this is fine, but what is the goddamn point? There's hardly any dialogue, no conflict, no character development...nothing. I think I fell asleep a bit during the film; I remember dozing while the two people were eating potatoes, and the the next thing I know, I wake up to them still eating potatoes. It could have been the same scene, but I don't know. There's about four other scenes just like it.

I will, however, keep this film in mind; if I need something to help put me to sleep, this is it. Truthfully, I would rather watch Battleship or Transformers than this again. Yes, those films are just as boring as The Turin Horse, but they're boring in a different way.

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Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Turin Horse

I try to avoid movies I think I'll hate. But every now and then I luck into one. The Turin Horse is such an example. This is a 2 1/2 hour film in which nothing happens. Literally. We're treated to the sight of two people as they go about their days: They take the horse out of the barn. They put the horse back in the barn. They dress. They undress. They eat potatoes. They light fires. They get water from the well.

All of this is fine, but what is the goddamn point? There's hardly any dialogue, no conflict, no character development...nothing. I think I fell asleep a bit during the film; I remember dozing while the two people were eating potatoes, and the the next thing I know, I wake up to them still eating potatoes. It could have been the same scene, but I don't know. There's about four other scenes just like it.

I will, however, keep this film in mind; if I need something to help put me to sleep, this is it. Truthfully, I would rather watch Battleship or Transformers than this again. Yes, those films are just as boring as The Turin Horse, but they're boring in a different way.
Wow, that sounds like the worst movie ever made, I thought i'd seen the most boring time when I saw "Dark Heaven" but it sounds like this one has it beat.


Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Room at the Top: for some reason I thought this was going to be a comedy but actually it's a well-done soap opera in which angry young man Laurence Harvey is determined to get out of his working-class background, and to do this sets his eye on the beautiful daughter of the richest man in town. To get close to her, he joins a theater troup to which she and Simone Signoret belong. Harvey has an eye for the ladies, and Signoret offers him sympathy, then tea, then herself. Harvey has already seen how her husband mistreats her, and Harvey and Signoret fall in love, while Harvey keeping an eye on the rich man's daughter. After a quarrel with Signoret, he begins an affair with the rich girl, and things get emotionally complicated.

Harvey is effective as the young man with a chip on his shoulder (actually the whole tree), but Signoret is outstanding in what is considered the best role by this great actress. I thought she was excellent in Army of Darkness, too, but this is her as a lead and dominating the movie. The supporting cast is fine, too. Heather Sears has the unfortunate role as the pretty young rich girl; she's nice, but bland compared with Signoret. Hermione Badderley, who plays a friend of Signoret's who lends her apartment to Harvey and Signoret, holds the distinction of being the actress with the shortest role ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. She's on screen for two minutes and twenty seconds.

The film suffers a little bit by having an ending telegraphed far in advance and an antihero who's really pretty nasty.

This film also holds the distinction of being the only film to defeat Ben-Hur at the Oscars. It took the award for Adapted Screenplay, because, well, its screenplay's better. (7.5 of 10)

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Last edited by Syd Henderson on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:10 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Turin Horse

I try to avoid movies I think I'll hate. But every now and then I luck into one. The Turin Horse is such an example. This is a 2 1/2 hour film in which nothing happens. Literally. We're treated to the sight of two people as they go about their days: They take the horse out of the barn. They put the horse back in the barn. They dress. They undress. They eat potatoes. They light fires. They get water from the well.

All of this is fine, but what is the goddamn point? There's hardly any dialogue, no conflict, no character development...nothing. I think I fell asleep a bit during the film; I remember dozing while the two people were eating potatoes, and the the next thing I know, I wake up to them still eating potatoes. It could have been the same scene, but I don't know. There's about four other scenes just like it.

I will, however, keep this film in mind; if I need something to help put me to sleep, this is it. Truthfully, I would rather watch Battleship or Transformers than this again. Yes, those films are just as boring as The Turin Horse, but they're boring in a different way.


Ha! The instant I read your description I said "Huh that sounds like Bela Tarr." A director I have no plans to ever see.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It's been a while since I last posted in this thread and there's a lot of catching up to do after my summer holiday. Here's Part 1:

The Andromeda Strain (1971)
After a satellite bearing an Alien virus crashes in New Mexico, nearly all inhabitants of a nearby small town die. Scientists investigate and try to prevent a spreading of the virus.
This movie is often considered a classic of 70ies sci-fi and deserving of this description. While there is little narrative and tension, the scenario is portrayed realistically and I particularly appreciated how the characters don't behave stupidly but take reasonable decisions - until a rather unconvincing action-centric ending, that is. Good movie: 7/10

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Patrick (Bradley Cooper) is suffering from bipolar disorder. After his release from a mental institution, he tries to reconnect with his ex-wife, who has a restraining order against him, so he is forced to go through his wife's friend Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who is suffering from mental problems on her own.
I usually don't like romantic comedies, but this is actually a good one with enough of an edge to distinguish it from its ilk. The chemistry between the leads is great and the acting excellent throughout. (Robert de Niro has a supporting role and probably does his best work in ages.) Another good movie: 7/10

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
This prequel to 1939's classic musical 'The Wizard of Oz' shows how the funfair magician Oz (James Franco) came to the fantastical country of the same name.
In the light of the fact that so many of its story elements have entered popular conciousness, it is easy to forget that the original movie is first and foremost a musical. Watching Sam Raimi's prequel, I was reminded of the importance of the songs and noticed how they are missing from 'Oz the Great and Powerful', which, consequently, misses a certain magical spark. It is still much better than Tim Burton's stylistically not dissimilar reimagining of 'Alice in Wonderland'. The movie looks great and the character of Oz - part fraudster, part hero - is interesting, but the story lacks a certain charm. Does every fantasy movie or faerietale have to end with a climactic battle between the forces of good and evil these days? Reasonably entertaining, but not quite good: 6/10

World War Z (2013)
Brad Pitt travels around a Zombie-infested world trying to find patient zero.
I used to claim to love Zombie movies, but there are actually only a handful of them which I consider to be truly good horror movies. 'World War Z' isn't one of them, but at least it finds an interesting angle to Zombie lore - how would humans try to fight back against Zombies on a global scale. Regrettably, the movie contents itself with showing how Brad Pitt's character travels from one country to the next in search of another action setpiece. After 'A Quantum of Solace', director Mark Forster proves that he doesn't do action well, with shaky cam often obscuring what's going on. The 3D is absolutely superfluous - the Chinese subtitles (watched it in Hong Kong) were the most notable instance of stereoscopy. There are a few memorable sequences, though (an outbreak of Zombieism on an aeroplane, for instance). Overall, the movie isn't exactly bad, but still below average: 4/10

Man of Steel (2013)
Another Superman origin movie.
This won't endear me to some members of this forum, but I actually don't think that Superman - despite of being the first modern superhero - is an interesting one. First, he is too powerful and near invincible. His only weaknesses are Kryptonite - which doesn't have any other purpose than providing a weakness for Superman and is a very lame storytelling device - and magic (yeah, right). Second, he doesn't have any character flaws. He's just a good guy, which means that there is little inherent conflict. That doesn't mean that it would be impossible to tell a good Superman story, but since ongoing continuity won't allow for him to undergo any meaningful character development, it is very hard to do. (It's easier to make good stories about Superman archetypes like Marvel's Hyperion or Astro City's Samaritan, because they don't have to remain good guys throughout their continuity.) I believe that there are only two story options when adapting Superman for the screen: Either you focus on the romantic comedy angle of Clark Kent/ Superman's relationship with Lois Lane, which is what the late 70ies Richard Donner movie did well (although it is mightily flawed in other aspects). Or you focus on Superman being an extraterrestrial on Earth, who can never be truly part of humanity but who cannot return to his destroyed home planet. 'Man of Steel' tells the latter story in an action packed movie and does a reasonably good job. The special effects are excellent (again, the 3D doesn't do much, in my opinion), the overall plot is sufficiently interesting and the acting is surprisingly good (Kevin Costner as Daddy Kent, for instance). On the downside, sometimes the movie didn't seem to make much sense in how it got from one point to the next (particularly in the climactic fight sequence between SUperman and his nemesis general Zod). Also, the film is too violent and destructive for my tastes. This isn't the Hulk, who goes smashing things, but Superman who should save kittens from trees, figuratively. (Perhaps not figuratively. It would be a nice aside if you saw Superman saving a kitten from a tree while he is flying from having prevented an earthquake in Italy to saving the passengers of a sinking ship in the Pacific.) Instead, he is fighting Alien invaders and the city of Metropolis gets thoroughly destroyed. Overall, I sort of liked the movie despite of my general misgivings about Superman. Above average: 6/10

tbc


Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The Turin Horse

I try to avoid movies I think I'll hate. But every now and then I luck into one. The Turin Horse is such an example. This is a 2 1/2 hour film in which nothing happens. Literally. We're treated to the sight of two people as they go about their days: They take the horse out of the barn. They put the horse back in the barn. They dress. They undress. They eat potatoes. They light fires. They get water from the well.

All of this is fine, but what is the goddamn point? There's hardly any dialogue, no conflict, no character development...nothing. I think I fell asleep a bit during the film; I remember dozing while the two people were eating potatoes, and the the next thing I know, I wake up to them still eating potatoes. It could have been the same scene, but I don't know. There's about four other scenes just like it.

I will, however, keep this film in mind; if I need something to help put me to sleep, this is it. Truthfully, I would rather watch Battleship or Transformers than this again. Yes, those films are just as boring as The Turin Horse, but they're boring in a different way.


Ha! The instant I read your description I said "Huh that sounds like Bela Tarr." A director I have no plans to ever see.


It indeed was by Bela Tarr.

As a side note, I don't mind films that are a little meandering in their ways. Blowup is one of my favorite films, as is La Dolce Vita. But you have to make the film accessible in some way. The Turin Horse fails in every aspect.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:54 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Oz The Great and Powerful

Not a huge fan of the original, I wasn't particularly excited when my wife brought this home. It turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for me. The story is a very fitting setup for the earlier movie and the depiction of Oz (which was quite impressive for its time) was extremely well rendered. Up until now, nothing James Franco has done caught my attention, but his performance as the wizard was incredibly well done. Much like the original, some stretches of the journey put me to sleep. Overall still a 7/10.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:07 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
A Field In England - 2013, Ben Wheatley

Filmed in black and white and notable for being a simultaneous cinema, TV, VoD, and DVD release in the UK.

A Field In England follows four men during the English Civil War, who escape a battle and go in search of a pub ("ale house").

They make and consume a broth containing mushrooms and encounter a mysterious necromancer named O'Neil.

What follows is a bizarre and very "trippy" piece of psychedelia. I loved it, but it will divide audiences and some will hate it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375574/


Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:46 am
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